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 2 090 000 retail customers, forming a solid base for the future successful growth of its retail business.
Throughout 2018, the retail loan portfolio increased by 18.4% to RUB 89.7 bn, mortgage loans grew by 10.9%, consumer loans grew by 38.9%, and car loans grew by 68.5%. The share of loans to individuals reached 23.9% of the total loan portfolio.
In 2018, the total amount of retail deposits increased by 21.1%, totaling RUB 249.1 bn. The share of retail deposits amounted to 60.1% 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 14th among Russian banks by total retail deposits as of January 1, 2020.
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 2019. Customers receiving their pensions through the Bank enjoyed increased deposit rates on several deposits.
The Bank’s customers also have an opportunity to make deposits online. Online deposits accounted for 73% of retail deposits placed in 2019.
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, 2020, a total number of all types of plastic bank cards issued reached 1 513 000. The Bank has also seen an annual increase in the number of its payroll customers: over 8 000 payroll programs with over 8 000 active payroll cards as of January 1, 2020.
To ensure compliance with the Federal Law on the National Payment System, the Bank issued more than 140 000 MIR cards in 2019.
In May 2019, the Bank started issuing the Resident ID Card and by the end of the year received 100 applications for issuance. Resident ID Card is a unique offer in St. Petersburg banking services market. It combines functions of the MIR National Payment System banking card, public transport pass, Medical Insurance Policy card and a discount card. The card is issued and serviced free of charge. Moreover, cardholders participate in National Payment System and YARKO loyalty programs.
The Bank launched a top-up service for the Schoolchild ID Card from September 2019. At the beginning of the school year, students of schools, lyceums and gymnasiums received Schoolchild ID Cards enabling them to enter their educational institution and pay at canteens. Details of such operations are transferred to the unified information system and may be accessed by parents through their Profile at St. Petersburg Education portal. Schoolchild ID Cards may be topped-up at the Bank, via Internet Bank, mobile application as well as through payment kiosks. No fee is charged. The card is credited instantaneously.
Starting from October 2019, all holders of TRAVEL banking cards and MIR payment system cards including Resident ID Card may set a credit limit for their card. Meaning that, if needed, the Bank’s customers will be able to go over their monthly budget without having to postpone important plans and purchases.
In autumn 2019, the Bank launched a new card product ICount tailored for Moscow and Novosibirsk customers. Free issuance and service, unlimited withdrawals from ATMs of any credit institution, and premium status are just a few benefits of this payroll card. In addition, ICount card includes unique YARKO rewards accrual system providing up to 5% payback of the amounts spent depending on account turnover.
In 2019 the Bank implemented access to Mir Pay contactless payment service. More than 350 000 holders of Mir cards issued by the Bank can now use Mir National Payment System service for contactless smartphone payment. Android OS smartphones guarantee support for Mir Pay. Mir Pay service is valid in any terminal where Mir contactless card payment is enabled.
In 2019, the total number of pension cards exceeded 60 000.
The Bank is represented by seven Mortgage Lending Centers (5 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 center has a separate meeting room; the Bank’s outlets also have depository areas for transactions using safe deposit boxes.
The Bank ranks 3rd among all local banks and 1st among private banks in St. Petersburg’s mortgage lending market. Throughout 2019, the Bank provided a total of RUB 25.1 bn in the form of 10 146 loans, compared to RUB 25.3 bn and 11 310 loans in the previous year. 70% 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 special offers for certain partners and permanently.
The Bank is continuing its productive cooperation with construction companies and real estate agencies. By the end of 2019, more than 600 developers and over 1 000 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.
Since May 2019 the Bank provides mortgage lending under the national subsidy program introduced by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No.1711 dated January 30, 2017. Families where a second or subsequent child citizen of the Russian Federation has been born since January 1, 2018, are entitled to a mortgage for the acquisition of housing from a legal entity on a new build mortgage lending market at a rate of 6% p.a.
In 2019 Bank Saint Petersburg extended volume of operations through a new solution for real estate transactions: the escrow account, a special-purpose account opened in the name of the depositor (the 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 are 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.
By the end of December 2019, the Bank had opened 10 000 escrow accounts within real estate transactions under sale and purchase contracts and concession agreements between individuals. Bank Saint Petersburg was one of the first banks in the country to introduce an escrow account system for both mortgage lending and real estate transactions without the Bank’s mortgage. This form of settlement implies placement of the buyer’s cash funds on a special-purpose escrow account opened under a trilateral agreement, and transfer of the transaction amount is made available only after all terms and conditions of the agreement are met.
At the RETAIL FINANCE AWARDS 2019, the Bank’s escrow accounts were distinguished as the Best Retail Finance Product. The escrow account is a brand new product created within the mortgage lending development initiative as a substitute for letters of credit and launched by the Bank in autumn 2019. At the moment this service is one of its kind.
Bank Saint Petersburg was recognized as Russia’s best mortgage bank for the fourth time by Global Banking and Finance Review Awards. The competition’s expert board acknowledged the Bank as Best Mortgage Bank Russia 2019. In addition, Bank Saint Petersburg was distinguished as the Best Bank for Escrow Accounts Russia.
The Bank is represented by three Car Lending Centers in St. Petersburg and one Car Lending Center in Kaliningrad where customers can get detailed advice on all car lending programs, apply for and receive a loan.
In 2019 the Bank efficiently managed competitive product lines and interest rates, continued to maintain a high-quality car loan portfolio, built long-term and reliable partnerships with major auto sales centers in St. Petersburg. The main advantages of the Bank’s car loan product line include large loan amounts, the possibility to add insurance premiums and additional services to the loan amount and a down payment starting from 0% (even if additional products are added to the loan amount). Constant efforts to speed up loan application consideration and drafting of loan transactions, to develop remote sales channels, to keep up with main market trends have also enabled the Bank to gain strong footing in the car loan business.
Among major events of 2019 is the transition to electronic passports for vehicles: the majority of car producers accounting for 70% of the Bank’s sales have joined the project, which required to significantly revamp the existing process.
Moreover, in 2019 the Bank continued its participation in highly popular First Car and Family Car state programs for concessional car loans providing a 10% price discount. Maximum loan amount under these programs amounted to RUB 1 mln., initial payment – at least 10% from car price, maturity – from 1 to 7 years, interest rates within standard programs for acquisition of a new vehicle: from 10.90% under Easy Purchase program and from 8.88% under Easy Business Class Car Purchase program.
The total value of loans provided in 2019 has become record high in Bank Saint Petersburg exceeding results of the previous year by 33%.
In 2019, the Bank ranked 5th out of 20 as the Best St. Petersburg Bank for Car Lending.
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. 84% of the unsecured loan portfolio is attributed to payroll cardholders. 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 warrant 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 customers whose financial position it can assess most efficiently.
Bank Saint Petersburg continues to maintain and improve the technology of issuing consumer loans, which significantly saves the customers time, as it implies the full remote receipt of loans. Internet Bank users can not only sign an agreement and receive money into an account through a personal account on a proposal approved by the Bank, but also make an application on their own, and track the course of its consideration.
The Bank is in the TOP 3 of St. Petersburg market leaders in terms of consumer lending, and in the TOP 10 in terms of credit cards.
2019 was a record year in terms of refinancing loans at Bank Saint Petersburg. The loans refinanced by the Bank allow customers to optimize the debt burden by reducing the amount of monthly payments and reducing the overpayment on loans of other banks.
Improvement efforts in 2019 were focused on scaling unsecured lending which allowed to increase the loan portfolio in low-risk customer segments. The Bank will continue to enlarge the customer base and maximize its potential by improving the quality of customer service.
PAYMENTS AND TRANSFERS
In 2019, the Bank significantly expanded the possibilities for convenient and fast transfer to legal entities and individuals. At the beginning of the year, fast payment in digital channels became available to more than 3 thousand organizations in the housing and utilities sector and telecommunications services.
The audience of customers active in digital channels increased by 17% and amounted to 466 000 users in December, while the number of transfers made increased by 5% and in December for the first time exceeded 1.15 mln transactions per month.
In 2019, the number of tax payments made through the Bank’s digital channels amounted to 37 000 payments and increased by 82% compared to 2018.
The number of users of the mobile application grew throughout 2019 at a fast pace and amounted to 371 000 people in December, which is 35% more than the figure as of the year beginning. An increase in the number of transfers made by these customers amounted to more than 44%, reaching 821 000 operations per month.
In 2019 the Bank launched new convenient services Subscription for Bills and Automatic Payment allowing to receive utility bills and pay them automatically. By now services are available for largest service providers — Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, Rostelekom and GUP VCKP “Zhilishchnoe khozyaistvo”. Access to the services will be soon provided to other utility service providers.
In 2019, the Bank offered its customers to join three loyalty programs:
- YARKO – emotional and engaging;
- Cashback – for rational customers;
- Travel – for travelers.
In 2019, the YARKO bonus loyalty program celebrated its 5th anniversary and surprised its customers with great gifts from the Program’s partners.
The YARKO program is actively developing its partner base. More than 280 partners have joined the program in 2019. The Bank targets at partners providing cardholders with interesting experiences and positive emotions. Among the new partners are the Imperial Porcelain Factory, Yandex.Taxi, children goods store Detki, Theatre of Musical comedy. Nowadays, the catalogue offers bonuses from large Russian shopping malls, world cosmetics and clothing brands, large electronic retail chains and etc.
In 2019, partners from Novosibirsk joined the Program: leading grocery stores and popular restaurant chains.
Strong confidence of YARKO customers is unchanged with their number reaching 714 000 as of January 1, 2020. At the same time, the number of active users of the program has increased by 13.5% compared to the previous year.
The new mile loyalty programs Mastercard World Travel and Mastercard World Travel Premium enable its cardholders to travel, get new emotions and experience out of the earned miles.
They reward customers for purchases by Mastercard World Travel and Mastercard World Travel Premium and offer additional increased miles when making purchases at the Travel portal as well as an accrual of interest on the account balance in miles. Miles can be spent on any airline tickets, travel agencies, railroad tickets, cruises, hotels and car rent outside the Russian Federation.