As one of the key players in St. Petersburg’s retail banking services, Bank Saint Petersburg aims to become the first bank of choice for the city's residents. The Bank currently has 1 930 000 retail customers, forming a solid base for the future successful growth of its retail business.
Throughout 2017, the retail loan portfolio increased by 30.8% to RUB 71.2 bn, mortgage loans grew by 27.4%, consumer loans grew by 46.1%, and car loans grew by 23.3%. The share of loans to individuals reached 21.2% of the total loan portfolio.
In 2017, the total amount of retail deposits increased by 9.7%, totalling RUB 205.6 bn. The share of retail deposits amounted to 57.1% of total customer deposits.
RETAIL DEPOSIT SERVICES
An extensive sales network, an opportunity to make deposits online, a high quality of services, reliability, a wide range of deposit options and competitive interest rates provide the Bank with a continuously increasing number of loyal customers and a steadily broadening deposit base.
According to the Interfax agency, the Bank ranks 15th among Russian banks by total retail deposits as of January 1, 2018.
In order to increase its customer base and attract additional deposit inflow, the Bank offered its customers a choice of several seasonal deposits with historically high interest rates in 2017. Customers receiving their pensions through the Bank enjoyed increased deposit rates on their Pension deposits.
The Bank’s customers also have an opportunity to make deposits online. Online deposits accounted for 69% of retail deposits placed in 2017.
One of the priority areas for the Bank's retail business is the issuance of bank cards and the provision of related services. As of January 1, 2018, the total number of all types of plastic bank cards issued reached 1 300 000. The Bank has also seen an annual increase in the number of its payroll customers: 7 500 payroll programs with a total of 460 000 active payroll cards as of January 1, 2018.
To ensure compliance with the Federal Law concerning the National Payment System, the Bank issued more than 200 000 MIR cards as part of payroll projects, 8 000 MIR pension cards, and more than 47 000 parent subsidy MIR cards in 2017.
In the reporting year, the Bank installed contactless MIR card readers in the St. Petersburg Metro: MIR holders can now easily pay their fare at each of the 67 metro stations. The Uniteller Company acted as a technology partner of the project.
Starting from 2017, the Bank has been issuing Cash Back cards enabling partial repayment of the cost of various products and services purchased with the card. Visa Cash Back cards provide up to 10% payback of the amounts spent. The actual amount of cashback depends on the product/service category: 10% for cafés and restaurants, 5% for filling stations, and 1% for any other payments. MIR pension cards offer 1% cashback on the amounts spent in grocery stores and pharmacies.
In 2017, the total number of pension cards grew by an impressive 60%, now reaching more than 32 000. Among the factors contributing to this significant growth were:
- An agreement signed in 2017 between Bank Saint Petersburg and the Pension Fund’s office in the Kaliningrad Region to regulate cooperation on pension delivery services;
- The launch of MIR pension cards, the flagship product for retired customers due to such features as free issue and servicing, 5% interest accrued on the account balance, benefit information services, and the option to withdraw cash from other banks’ ATMs at no charge;
- The option to apply for pension benefits through the online banking system.
In 2017, the Bank reduced card manufacturing time to 1 day, also enabling cardholders’ access to Android Pay. The share of merchant card transactions demonstrated a significant growth from 28% to 32% of overall card transactions.
The Bank ranks 3rd among all local banks and 1st among private banks in St. Petersburg’s mortgage lending market. Throughout 2017, the Bank provided a total of RUB 24.9 bn in the form of 11 326 loans, compared to RUB 17.6 bn and 9 520 loans in the previous year. 73% of the total mortgage loan portfolio consisted of mortgage loans for newly constructed buildings.
During the reporting period, the Bank of Russia was gradually lowering its key rate, enabling the Bank to reduce its mortgage interest rates both as limited-time special offers for certain partners and permanently.
At the end of 2017, Bank Saint Petersburg was ranked 10th in Russia in terms of new mortgages issued. The Bank’s new mortgages issued in 2017 grew by 41% compared with the previous year’s volume.
The Bank opened 8 Mortgage Lending Centres (6 in St Petersburg, 1 in Moscow and 1 in Kaliningrad), where customers can get detailed advice on all mortgage lending programs available and obtain an estimated calculation of the amount and maturity, as well as apply for a mortgage loan. A dedicated loan officer supports each customer throughout the entire process. As an additional convenience for the customers and a way to ensure confidentiality, each centre has a separate meeting room; the Bank's outlets also have depository areas for transactions using safe deposit boxes.
The Bank is continuing its productive cooperation with construction companies and real estate agencies. By the end of 2017, more than 130 developers and over 750 construction projects received the Bank’s accreditation. Customers can receive mortgage-related advice and apply for a mortgage loan at the Bank's representative desks located in the offices of its partner companies.
In 2017, Bank Saint Petersburg introduced a new solution for real estate transactions – the escrow account, a special-purpose account opened in the name of the depositor (buyer of the property) where escrow funds can be deposited, blocked or transferred to the beneficiary (recipient of the transaction funds) after certain conditions agreed by the parties met. An escrow account is opened after a trilateral agreement is signed to formalize the terms and conditions for depositing funds and the procedure for debiting them. Escrow accounts are opened free of charge.
The Bank’s product line was augmented by lending plans for military personnel wishing to purchase new construction and resale real estate, and a mortgage refinancing program for third-party bank loans, including an option requiring only the applicant’s passport.
In the reporting year, the Bank received two prestigious awards: the Most Trusted Mortgage Lender in St. Petersburg as part of the Consumer Confidence competition, and the Best Mortgage Bank 2017 at the international Global Banking & Finance Review Awards.
The Bank is represented by three Car Lending Centres in St. Petersburg and one Car Lending Center in Kaliningrad where clients can get detailed advice on all car lending programs, apply for and receive a loan.
The Bank continues to participate in the state program for concessional car loans. The First Car and Family Car plans provide for a 10% price discount on participating vehicle types. Maximum loan amount is RUB 1.45 mln, initial payment – at least 12%, maturity – up to 7 years.
The Bank continues to actively cooperate with all major auto sales centres in St. Petersburg and maintains a high-quality car loan portfolio.
Bank Saint Petersburg takes a conservative approach to risk and offers consumer loans only to the existing customer base. The target segment for the unsecured lending program is still represented by the customers, holding the Bank's payroll cards, whose financial position is well known to the Bank. 80% of the unsecured loan portfolio is attributed to payroll card holders. The Bank also offers loans to customers who have a good profile with the Bank or are employed by reliable partner entities.
This approach has proved to be the most efficient one. First of all, targeted work with customers and forecasting their individual needs guarantee a more sizeable response. The second advantage is that the Bank can take a cautious approach to new borrowers and accept only measured risks of the external unsecured lending market, having over 1 930 000 customers whose financial position it can assess most efficiently.
Bank Saint Petersburg has introduced a fully online loan origination which is a brand new consumer lending process that allows the customer to save time significantly. The Internet Bank users can independently submit loan applications, monitor their review progress, sign loan agreements, and have funds disbursed to their accounts.
Another innovation of 2017 was the refinancing plan allowing the customers to consolidate all outstanding loans under a single loan agreement, reduce the monthly payment amount, and receive additional funds. The Refinancing Loan is offered in the amount not exceeding RUB 1.5 mln with a maturity of up to 7 years for the purposes of mortgage, car, and consumer loans repayment.
The Bank ranks 3rd among all banks and 1st among private banks in St. Petersburg’s market of consumer loans and credit cards.
Improvement efforts in 2017 were focused on scaling unsecured lending which allowed to increase the loan portfolio in low-risk client segments. The Bank will continue to enlarge the customer base and maximize its potential by improving the quality of customer service.