On September 12, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law on the so-called “split” – the liquidation of the National Commission for Regulation of Financial Services Markets and the distribution of powers to regulate the financial market between the National Bank and the National Commission on Securities and Stock Market. The National Bank will become the regulator of insurance, leasing, financial companies, credit unions, pawnshops and credit bureaus, and the NCSSMC will regulate non-state pension and construction financing funds.
Due to such innovations, the National Bank of Ukraine is acquainted with the subordinate markets and on October 8 gathered the leading companies of the leasing market – members of the Association “Ukrainian Association of Lessors” for a meeting.
The host party was represented by the Bank’s management represented by First Deputy Chairman of the NBU Kateryna Rozhkova, Director of the Licensing Department Alexander Bevz, Director of the Strategy and Development Department Sergey Karpenko.
In her welcome speech, Kateryna Rozhkova noted that Split aims to systematically assist subordinate markets in their development, and for its part the National Bank is ready to make every effort. The main principle of regulation of the NBU will be the principle of proportionality: that is, the less risk to financial services consumers, the less regulation. Among the minimal risk groups are, in particular, leasing companies that do not raise public funds for their activities. The universal requirements for all submarkets will be transparency of ownership structure, protection of consumer rights and financial monitoring of clients. On a positive note, it was noted that there was only one industry representative in the leasing market – professional association of lessors, because it would be more difficult to deal with disparate proposals from the Regulator.
The Association was represented at the meeting by General Manager Maryna Masich, Chairman of the Board of Directors Oleksandr Koshcheev and the top-management of 25 participating companies. On behalf of the market, Maryna Masich praised the National Bank’s continued and persistent preparation for the adoption of the Split Law and welcomed the emergence of such a powerful regulator for the industry. After all, it will help significantly increase market confidence from international investors and, most importantly, from potential lessees.
In addition, the speaker noted that the Association of Lessors was created almost synchronously with the advent of the leasing industry in Ukraine, and will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year. The organization, being the sole market representative, is part of LEASEUROPE with its headquarters in Brussels. It is a confederation uniting leasing associations of 31 European countries. The UOL includes members that generate more than 80% of Ukraine’s leasing portfolio. Maryna Masich expressed her hope that approaches to regulate the market, which operates only at the expense of shareholders, will be flexible. And also that they will be differentiated, because there are quite different groups of players in the industry – representatives of banking groups, captive companies, companies of direct producers of products, independent, etc.
The main obstacles to the development of the leasing Association and its participants called: lack of sufficient sources of funding in the hryvnia: low awareness of SMEs about leasing and its capabilities; lack of incentives for key industries and innovative industries; inability to work with the land as a leased asset; failure to take into account the interests of lessees in state compensation programs for agricultural producers, contrary to the world experience – the inability to finance one’s own leasing company within a banking group due to the existing regulatory restrictions of the NBU, insufficient security of the lessor in the regulatory field compared to other creditors, which puts them in unequal conditions.
If these obstacles are resolved, or if the first steps are taken towards their solution, leasing can become a powerful engine for the whole economy and contribute to a significant growth of Ukraine’s GDP. For example, small countries such as Bulgaria and Hungary are cited, where leasing portfolios are ten times larger than the Ukrainian one, and where this tool really serves as a driver for their economies.
On the initiative of the organized leasing market, two bills (# 1111 and # 1218) have been registered in the Verkhovna Rada, which reflect the expectations of its participants on a number of issues – in particular, the subject of notarization of contracts, the regulation of the problem of VAT evacuation, accelerated depreciation for leasing and tooters. The Association hopes to support these bills by the Regulator. The participants of the meeting expressed their readiness to work in working groups to prepare the NBU’s regulatory framework for regulation and supervision. The market is ready to make every effort to develop constructive cooperation and increase leasing penetration into capital investment up to the level of European indicators. The first working meeting of the Association and representatives of the NBU is expected in early November 2019.
Association “Ukrainian Union of Lessors” was established in 2005 as a voluntary association of professional participants in the leasing market. The main objective of the Association is “to promote the development of an open and equally accessible market for operational and financial leasing in Ukraine by coordinating the activities of enterprises that have united to protect common interests.” At the same time, it was announced that the Union would not serve to reach any agreement among its members on the distribution of the leasing market. The Association is a part of the LEASEUROPE Confederation with its headquarters in Brussels, bringing together the Associations of 31 European countries. The Association includes participants that generate more than 80% of the Ukrainian leasing portfolio. Association “Ukrainian Logistics Alliance” was organized in 2005 by Ukrainian logistics companies to develop a logistics environment based on the principles of fair competition. Combining the efforts of various logistical organizations and enterprises helps to achieve the most effective results in the activities of the Association.