Azerpocht to Face Tougher Capital Requirements to Get Bank License
Azerbaijan, Baku, 30 October/ Trend , I. Khalilova/ "Azerpocht, national postal operator, can be issued a license after its activities are brought into conformance with the requirements on risk management in the sphere of financial services," Rana Malikova, director of Law Department of National Bank of Azerbaijan (NBA) said.
"I would not say it will take a long time, because World Bank program on institutionalization of Azerpocht has been realized for a long time," Malikova said. "We will grant a bank license when we make sure that the system of management and formation of control system is prepared for this:.
According to the amendments to the Law on Postal Communication, Azerpocht's functions have been expanded. Soon, postal branches will offer population bank services. Postal branches will be able to give pensions and benefits and also receive cash deposits. However, Azerpocht is not entitled to issue credits.
Postal branches are not included in a single bank system, but they are part of this body, therefore, prudential control and regulation of activities will be brought closer to that of banking, she said.
"There is no need to apply all banking requirements for them, but regulations are selected by taking into consideration risks in operations or deals," Malikova said.
Azerpocht will also face capitalization requirements, but they will differ from regulations introduced in the banking sector as postal branches will not deal with crediting.
"Given the fact that postal branches are potential risk holders inherent in banking activity, they will receive cash deposits and conduct operations," Malikova said. "Therefore, there should be adequate base of capital, but this is prudential regulation".
General director of Azerpocht Gambar Beybalayev says that development of commercial services will promote profitability of the company. At the moment, the company can not finance itself as electronic email competes with correspondence.
"Therefore, the company needs additional financing to promote commercial services which will help increase profitability of mail," Beybalayev said.
Project Development of Financial Services and Postal Branches has been implemented in Azerbaijan with the support of World Bank since 2005. The project will end by the end of the year.
Azerpocht has already begun connecting its branches to the single system of communal payments set up by NBA. Already 100 postal branched have joined it.
There are as many as 1,536 postal branches across the country, 337 of which serve in urban areas, centers of the regions and settlements with 1,199 serving in rural areas.
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