Alfa Bank JSC, the corporate treasury of the Alfa Group, is one of the largest private commercial banks in Russia. It was founded by Russian businessman Mikhail Fridman, who is still the controlling owner today. It is headquartered in Moscow. It operates in seven countries, providing financial services to over 381,600 active corporate customers and 14.2 million retail clients. Alfa-Bank is particularly active in Russia and Ukraine, ranking among top 10 largest banks in terms of capital in both countries. In the 2009 edition of the Top-1000 World Banks, a survey by The Banker magazine, Alfa-Bank was placed 270th.
|Joint stock company|
Number of locations
|723 offices in 7 countries|
|US$ 798 million (2017)|
|Total assets||US$ 44.7 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||US$ 6.3 billion (2017)|
|Owner||Mikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven, German Khan|
Number of employees
|23,000 (March, 2018)|
|Rating||Ba2 (Moody's), BB+(S&P), BB+ (Fitch) (2017)|
- 1990 – Alfa-Bank founded as a partnership with limited liability by Russian entrepreneur Mikhail Fridman.
- 1991 – Licence to banking operations received from Central Bank of Russia and first corporate accounts open.
- 1992 – Central Bank grants more licences for broader activities. Alfa-Bank opens first nostro accounts in six foreign banks. First retail branch opens in Moscow.
- 1993 – Alfa-Bank becomes a member of Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange. General license to banking operations received from Central Bank. Alfa-Bank starts dealing in government bonds (GKOs and OFZs).
- 1994 – Alfa-Bank becomes a member of MasterCard/Europay international credit card system and joins the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Pyotr Aven appointed as bank's President. Alfa-Bank becomes the first Russian bank to open a subsidiary in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
- 1995 – Euromoney ranks Alfa-Bank third in its category for "Best Russian Banks in 1995". Alfa-Bank joins Factors Chain International. A representative office opens in London, United Kingdom.
- 1996 – Alfa-Bank joins Euroclear and Visa International. It becomes one of the three participants in the first Eurobonds issue by Russian government since the October Revolution. Alfa-Bank opens branch in Nizhniy Novgorod.
- 1997 – Alfa-Bank draws $40 million syndicated loan. Euromoney declares Alfa-Bank "The Best Bank in Russia in 1997". First credit ratings received from Moody's and Standard & Poor's (S&P). Alfa-Bank places the first issue of $175 million, 3-year Eurobonds, becoming the first privately owned Russian bank to issue Eurobonds. Branches in Saint Petersburg and Samara open. The value of total assets passes $1 billion.
- 1998 – Alfa-Bank is reorganized from limited liability company into open joint stock company. Euromoney ranks Alfa-Bank "The Best Bank in Russia" for the second straight year. Alfa-Bank merges with Alfa Capital, then a sister company of Alfa Group. A subsidiary bank opens in Novosibirsk, Russia's third most populous city.
- 1999 – Euromoney and Global Finance name Alfa-Bank "The Best Russian Bank" despite the financial crisis. 14 new retail branches and offices open across Russia.
- 2000 – Alfa-Bank acquires a 76% stake in Kyivinvestbank (later renamed "Alfa Bank Ukraine"). The Banker and Global Finance magazine name Alfa-Bank "The Best Russian Bank". Alfa Securities, a broker and a subsidiary, opens in London.
- 2001 – By the end of first quarter, loan portfolio reaches $1 billion; Alfa-Bank opens a subsidiary in New York City, Alfa Capital Markets, a NASD (now Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)) regulated company set up to provide brokerage and investment services in North and South America. Emerging Markets Investor and Global Finance name it "Best Bank in Russia". Alfa-Bank becomes 100 percent owner of Amsterdam Trade Bank N.V. and thereby acquires a full banking licence in the European Union.
- 2002 – Gazprom and Alfa-Bank reach an agreement on strategic partnership. Together with Merrill Lynch, Alfa-Bank wins financial consulting contract from Unified Energy System. Fitch and S&P upgrade their credit rating on Alfa-Bank. Once again Global Finance magazine declares Alfa-Bank "The Best Russian Bank".
- 2003 – Unaudited financial statements reveal record high growth in profits in 2002 (loan portfolio increased 70% to $1.4 billion, assets surged 51%, while net income rose by more than a third). Alfa-Bank, in partnership with the Lauder Institute of the Wharton School of Business, establishes a new award for "Excellence in Foreign Investment", which would be presented to foreign companies operating in Russia for weighty contribution to the corporate governance and successful business operations. Alfa-Bank draws $82 million unsecured syndicated loan, the biggest on record among private banks. S&P, Fitch, and Moody's upgrade Alfa-Bank's rating during the year.
- 2004 – Alfa-Bank tops the list of financial consultants by deals value, completing $8.9 billion worth of transactions in 2003. Alfa-Bank's loan portfolio grows by 52% year-over-year, reaching $2.8 billion. It wins a $10 million defamation settlement against the Russian newspaper Kommersant, which had published an article on financial difficulties at the bank, which suffered a substantial run on deposits and contributed to a mini banking crisis over the summer.
- 2005 – Interbrand ranks Alfa-Bank "9th strongest brand" in Russia. Mikhail Fridman becomes the member of the Public Chamber of Russia. Alfa-Bank issues $225 million of subordinated unsecured Eurobonds. S&P, Fitch, and Moody's upgrade Alfa-Bank's rating during the year.
- 2006 – Alfa-Bank completes the country's first securitisation of diversified payment rights with a $350 million deal. Unaudited first quarter management International Financial Reporting Standards figures show total assets breaking the $10 billion mark for the first time in company's history.
- 2007 – In connection with the closure of Sodbiznesbank in 2004, Alfa-Bank is searched by Russian police in September. Fitch upgrades Alfa-Bank's rating.
- 2008 – Alfa-Bank seeks $400 million government loan in October. It deploys 20,000 Aladdin eToken USB smartcard devices to its online customers. The bank acquires Severnaya Kazna, a major regional bank operating in the Urals region.
- 2009 – Fitch downgrades Alfa-Bank's rating.
- 2010 – Alfa-Bank launches a $1 billion 7-year Eurobond.
- 2011 – Alfa-Bank seeks to buy Bank of Moscow, but the sale goes to VTB Bank.
- 2012 – In cooperation with Euroset, Alfa-Bank launches a loyalty-card credit programme.
- 2014 – Russian loyalty card program called "Alfa-Amway" was created when Amway joined with Alfa-Bank.
- 2016 – On 31 October and 2 November, Franklin Foer reported in Slate that there had been unusual repeated activity from 4 May to 23 September 2016 between two computer servers registered to Alfa-Bank in Moscow and a server owned by the Trump Organization. The activity also included, to a lesser extent, communications to a server at Spectrum Health, a medical facility chain led by Dick DeVos, the husband of Betsy DeVos and brother-in-law of Erik Prince. The FBI investigated the computer server activity between the Trump Organization and Alfa-Bank.
- 2017 – In January, the Trump–Russia dossier, prepared by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele and denoting various ties between Trump and Russia, was published in full in BuzzFeed News; the dossier mentions Alfa-Bank's parent company Alfa Group (spelled "Alpha Group" in the dossier).
- On 10 March, CNN reported that the FBI was continuing to investigate the unusual computer activity between Alfa-Bank and the Trump Organization which had occurred in the summer of 2016, and which had been reported in the media just before the U.S. presidential election. Also in March, Alfa-Bank was the target of Ukrainian protests.
- In May, the owners of Alfa-Bank filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed for publishing the unverified Trump–Russia dossier, which alleges financial ties and collusion between Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and Alfa-Bank's owners.
- In June, President Trump nominated Brian Benczkowski, the bank's former attorney, to be United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
- In October the owners of Alfa-Bank filed a libel suit against Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, for circulating the Trump–Russia dossier among journalists and allowing it to be published.
- In December, Alfa-Bank's wholly owned Dutch subsidiary, Amsterdam Trade Bank, was raided in connection with an investigation into possible money laundering.
- 2018 – In April, the owners of Alfa-Bank, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan, filed a libel suit against Christopher Steele, creator of the Trump-Russia dossier, and Orbis Business Intelligence, since the Trump dossier alleges financial ties and collusion between Putin, Trump, and the three bank owners. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and then dismissed with prejudice the following August.
- In July, BuzzFeed News publishes that, from December 2014 to the summer of 2017, numerous suspicious money transfers occurred among Paul Erickson's accounts including Well Fargo Bank accounts, an undisclosed law firm, the NRA, Jack Abramoff's son Alex and Jack's brother Robert company Landfair Capital Consulting, which was started in March 2017, and Maria Butina's Alfa-Bank account. Investigators from Wells Fargo reported these suspicious money transfers to the United States Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and to the FBI.
Bank and SocietyEdit
Since 2004, Alfa-Bank has been assisting the "Life Line", a charity program for saving seriously ill children. Alfa-Bank was the first company to organize a collection of private donations to the foundation. Since September 2008, bank customers have the opportunity to transfer cash donations to help children with the help of the Alfa-Click Internet Bank or a conventional bank transfer without a bank commission. The bank also cooperates with WWF, supports most of the initiatives, and also invites its clients to provide financial support to the Fund.
The bank operates volunteer organization "Give the good". The bank collects humanitarian aid for orphanages, boarding schools and social shelters, and also attracts employees as volunteers. Every year, the bank organizes charity events called "Children's Day", "Help me get ready for school", "Christmas miracle".
Since 1995, the bank has been implementing the "Alfa-Chance" student scholarship program, giving school graduates from various regions of Russia the opportunity to receive higher education at leading universities in the country. Since 2008, the Bank, in cooperation with HSE, has been implementing a program to provide nominal scholarships to first-year students from Russian regions (except Moscow and St. Petersburg), who won prizes at All-Russian School Olympiads and the HSE Multi-Profile Olympiad. In total, the "Alfa-Chance" program involves about 17 institutions of higher education. The Bank is developing the Alfa Fellowship program, which enables young specialists from the United States, Great Britain and Germany to undergo an internship in Russia.
Alfa-Bank is actively working in cultural and educational activities primarily aimed at supporting national art. On June 7, 2000, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Alfa-Bank signed a cooperation agreement, under which the participants agreed to join efforts aimed at the implementation of joint cultural events and creative projects. Every year, with the support of a bank in Russia, exhibitions and concerts are held. In addition, Alfa-Bank participates in the organization of exhibitions and concerts of Russian cultural figures abroad. For example, on February 18, 2000, a concert of the Moscow Virtuosos Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Vladimir Spivakov took place in London. It was the first performance of the band in London for 10 years. The presentation was sponsored by Alfa-Bank. Alfa-Bank, together with the Moscow Literary Fund, is implementing a scholarship support program for writers aimed at motivating authors to create new works of literature: prose, poetry, drama, translations, books for children.
The bank is also one of the co-founders of the "Big Book" National Literary Award.
Alfa-Bank periodically sponsors or participates in organizing concerts of foreign stars in Russia. Among others, Bono(2010), Elton John (1995, 2001 and 2007), Aerosmith (2007), Sting (1996, 2001 and 2006), Whitney Houston (2004), Paul McCartney (2003 and 2004). However, some of the invited singers perform in Russia for the first time. Alfa-Bank organizes an electronic music and technology festival Alfa Future People. The headliners are the "stars" of the world electronic scene, such as Paul Oakenfold, Avicii, Skrillex, Pompeya, Tesla Boy, Infected Mushroom, and others.
In July 2014, Alfa-Bank announced the launch of the social project "City Tours with Alpha". The Bank provides financial and organizational support to the best museums and a tour desks, supporting the development of city tours..
- Alfa-Bank, jointly with MasterCard, has launched the production of AlfaPay wristwatches with an integrated debit bank card based on PayPass technology. To pay for purchases do not need to enter a PIN code or sign. The card shows its number and CVC-code to pay for online purchases.
- Alfa-Bank developed the Alfa-Touch app. It allows you to create a non-personalized card for one year and pay for purchases using the PayPass system.
- Since December 2015, contactless ATMs have begun work in the bank branches. Installation of such ATMs was aimed primarily at improving security when working with an ATM (the inability to read the magnetic strip data by the fraudsters), and secondly, it is speeding up the process of interaction with the device.
- Alfa-Bank together with the manufacturer of prostheses "Motorika" developed bioelectric prostheses with a special mount for a card with the function of contactless payment PayPass. This development is aimed at reducing inconveniences for people with disabilities when paying. Prostheses have a special compartment for "minitag". To pay for a product or service, it is sufficient to bring the prosthesis to the terminal and confirm the operation with a PIN code in case the check exceeds 1000 rubles. In addition, this prosthesis works with other devices equipped with contactless card readers.
- At the end of 2016, Alfa-Bank's A-Club Private Banking topped the "Best Russian Bank for Millionaires" rating, compiled by Forbes, among Russian banks without state participation and was ranked 4th position.
Protection of business reputationEdit
On January 21, 2014, Alfa-Bank and Mikhail Fridman filed a lawsuit for the protection of business reputation against the chairman of the Yabloko party, Sergei Mitrokhin, the editorial staff of the Izvestia newspaper and the correspondent of this newspaper. They considered that the statements made by Mitrokhin and Izvestia newspaper that "Aleksei Navalny fulfills the political order of the Alfa Group" do not correspond to reality and discredit their business reputation. But in the end, the court refused to satisfy the company's claim against Mitrokhin.
- Alfa Corp. v. OAO Alfa Bank
- List of banks
- List of banks in Russia
- List of banks in Ukraine
- Timeline of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections
- Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2017)
- Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2018)
- Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2019)
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