Bank Saint Petersburg attaches great importance to the successful development of the regions of its presence, strictly adhering to social responsibility principles in its business operations. As the largest private bank in the Russian Northwest, Bank Saint Petersburg never distances itself from socially significant projects in the region, but rather takes an active part in them.
The Bank pays particular attention to the following three groups of social responsibility initiatives: support for underprivileged children, developing the urban environment, and encouraging financial awareness.
CHARITY AND SPONSORSHIP
In 2016, the Bank continued its long-term aid program for Kolpino Family Education Support Centre No. 9 (formerly known as Foster Care Centre No. 27). The project started in 2006 when the Bank joined Board of Trustees of this institution. In addition to improving the Centre's facilities and infrastructure, the Bank also offers the children additional vocational training, healthcare and leisure activities. The Bank regularly provides incentives for talented teachers at the Centre.
Bank Saint Petersburg is actively involved in implementing socially important charity programs in the city. For nearly 11 years, the Bank has been supporting the Helping Homeless Dogs Charity Foundation.
Fittingly for its High Culture Banking slogan, Bank Saint Petersburg continues to support important cultural initiatives in the city. Already for the fifth time, in 2016 the Bank became the title partner of the traditional St. Petersburg Museum Night, one of the city's most spectacular annual cultural events. More than 80 000 people visited 99 participating St Petersburg museums.
For the second time, the Bank sponsored another landmark project of the year – the Opera for Everyone International Festival, which showcased various masterpieces of classical opera. It gave local residents and visitors of St. Petersburg the chance to enjoy open-air performances of some of the world’s most popular operas, against the backdrop of the city's famous architectural complexes, completely free of charge.
Also for the second time, Bank Saint Petersburg acted as the title sponsor of Message to Man, the city's largest and longest established film festival, which featured more than 200 documentary, animated, experimental and short films.
One of the Bank’s most significant charity projects was its 2016 initiative to reallocate part of the budget intended for the New Year’s corporate gifts to charities. The replacement of gifts by charity efforts allowed not only the Bank, but also its clients and partners, to support important social endeavours in the areas of the Bank’s operations. As such, an amount of RUB 3 mln was allocated to equip the long-awaited gym at Family Education Support Center No.9. In Kaliningrad, the Bank transferred RUB 1 mln to help the I Believe In Miracles charity fund: the money will be used to arrange the Miraclion rehabilitation camp for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEER INITIATIVES
In addition to its traditional charity events, since 2012, the Bank has supported its employees in their own volunteer projects. During 2016, more than 300 Bank employees volunteered for a number of important charity projects, including:
- The White Flower and Dreams Come True projects supporting a children's hospice in St Petersburg;
- Volunteer classes and workshops held in foster homes. In 2016, a new direction was added to the standard program – including the socialization and adaptation of children from orphanages. The Bank’s customers – the largest enterprises of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region – also joined this initiative by offering excursions and vocational guidance;
- The collection of New Year’s gifts and holiday events for children of the Sortavala Orphanage;
- A charity auction selling items handcrafted by employees of the Bank's and by children from Kolpino Family Education Support Centre No. 9 for the benefit of a children's hospice in St Petersburg.
ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE LENDING
Bank Saint Petersburg cooperates with a wide range of enterprises in St. Petersburg in order to support environmentally-oriented projects.
For example, the Bank issued guarantees to secure the performance of the obligations of the Mineral Special Purpose Firm State Unitary Geological Enterprise under public contracts for the following services:
- Delimitation of water protection zones and protected shoreline belts in St. Petersburg;
- Design of the Shoreline Protection Master Plan for Kotlin Island;
- Design of the Shoreline Protection Master Plan for the coast of the Gulf of Finland within the boundaries of St. Petersburg;
- Design of the Shoreline Protection Master Plan for the Sestroretsk, Izhora and Okhta reservoirs;
- Addition of map data concerning the city’s geological aspects to the territorial geological information fund of the Northwest Federal District.
These services were contracted by the St. Petersburg Natural Resources Management, and the Environment Protection and Environmental Safety Committee.
Bank Saint Petersburg provides loans to St. Petersburg-based enterprises and issues guarantees to secure the performance of contracts under projects that are socially-oriented and aimed at solving the socio-economic problems of the region.
For instance, in 2016, the Bank continued its concessional funding of vehicle deliveries under the public procurement contract executed by Global BUS LLC (an authorized dealer of MAZ OJSC) with the aim of upgrading St. Petersburg’s bus fleet. In the reporting year the city of St. Petersburg received, thanks to the Bank’s involvement, 100 more new large-capacity single-section low-deck buses (in addition to the 80 buses acquired in 2015). It is worth mentioning that, in order to comply with the public contract provisions concerning budget savings, the interest rate on the loan provided to Global BUS LLC was partially subsidized by the Government of the Republic of Belarus, according to the Agreement between the Bank and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Belarus.
The Bank issued a guarantee securing the performance of the obligations of the Oktyabrsky Electric Car Repair Plant OJSC, under the contract with Saint Petersburg Metro State Unitary Enterprise, for the delivery of 40 metro train cars with asynchronous traction motors. The RUB 799 mln guarantee expires in September 2018.
In 2016, the Bank continued to finance Basseiny LLC for the implementation of the strategic investment project of St. Petersburg to construct indoor swimming pools.
To guardians and custodians, the Bank offers accounts whose beneficiaries are supervised minors. Moreover, there is an additional option to issue corporate cards tied to the guardian or custodian’s accounts, enabling round-the-clock access to the funds placed in supervised accounts.
With its expertise in the retail sphere and its reputation as a reliable partner, Bank Saint Petersburg renders products and services that are in high demand and have a major social impact. This includes mortgage loans, the maternity (family) capital payments scheme, the social security payments scheme and the pension scheme.
The Bank is involved in targeted citywide programs, such as “Affordable Housing for the Young” and “Development of Long-Term Housing Finance in St. Petersburg,” striving to make borrowing convenient and affordable for private customers. In 2016, the Bank embarked on the Housing for Young Families sub-program under the Federal Action Program Housing for 2015-2020.
For the past 15 years the Bank has been issuing and servicing the “Newborn” and “Preschool” social benefits cards, to which child benefit payments are credited, and can subsequently be used to make payments for baby and childcare products in specialized stores. As of January 1, 2017, 226 000 “Newborn” and “Preschool” cards had been issued.
For pensioners in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region, the Bank issued more than 20 000 cards. In cooperation with the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, in 2016, the Bank launched a pilot project allowing customers to apply for pension cards at the Pension Fund offices.
Bank Saint Petersburg is fully aware of the importance of building a healthy social environment in the city of St. Petersburg and in the Northwest region of Russia, and will continue to be actively involved in the social life of the city by implementing its traditional charity projects and encouraging employees’ volunteer initiatives.