UniCredtit Bulbank underwent a lot of changes in 2007, related to the integration of three banks. The process was accompanied by the implementation of a new information system, which caused difficulties for some of the clients as well, Hampartsumyan said.
There are no new products that significantly differ from the ones offered by the financial institution so far, Hampartsumyan added. Banking products are distinguished for their variety and specifications, which reflect the changes in the market environment. This includes deposits with higher interest rates, as well as higher quality of credit card services and etc.
It is important for an operating credit register, apart from the one of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), to be established, Hampartsumyan said in relation to borrowers' credit history.
A well operating register collects mainly the negative data from all institutions selling on credit, such as mobile operators, leasing companies, companies for fast consumer credit and etc. If all the data is collected into a single database, this would straighten out the market and would be helpful for servicing their debts regularly to obtain loans faster and even at lower costs.
This would make consumer more conscientious and to think before skipping or delaying a monthly payment on their loans, which would impair their credit history and make it harder and more expensive for them to obtain loans in the future.
No such system operates at present and I hope that a unified credit register will be established until the end of the year, Levon Hamparstumyan said.
In regards to the turmoil on the global credit markets, Hampartsumyan commented that “precautions have been taken before anything happens”.
The crisis will have a different effect on the banking institutions, depending on their appetite for risk and their expansion policy, according to UniCredit Bulbank's CEO.
It is obvious that the problems are not affecting the entire banking sector but only projects that had not been given a good thought, as well as projects related to the resorts where there is overbuilding, Hampartsumyan went on to say.
In view of the lending boom and the growth of the economy in the recent years, it is only normal for the share of bad loans to grow, according to Hampartsumyan.
It is important for the share of bad loans not to reach the critical zone. The growth of the economy should allow for more consumers to be able to service their loans. There are no signs of worry at this point as these indicators are closely monitored by the banks, which change their policies accordingly, the banking expert said.