Bank Saint Petersburg is the largest private bank in Northwest Russia. The financial services provided by the Bank support the local development of the region and its sustainable economic growth, as well as helping individual customers to reach their financial targets.
Services for customers still constitute the core of the Bank’s business. The Bank has ca. 2 000 000 individual customers and 55 000 corporate customers. Its proximity to customers, high processing speed, and flexibility of decisions remain the traditional advantages of Bank Saint Petersburg in the Northwest Region. Combined with the introduction of new quality standards for all operations, settlements and services, these factors determine the Bank’s contribution to the social and economic growth of the Russian Northwest.
The Bank continues to develop its branch network in St. Petersburg, creating the most up-to-date and convenient outlets, lending centers and round-the-clock service locations. As of January 1, 2022, the Bank’s customer service network comprises 65 outlets and six Mortgage Lending Centers. The numbers of ATMs and POS terminals amounted to 789 units.
Open space provides proper attention to each customer, while spatial zoning is fully aligned with the needs of various customer groups. At the office entrance, there is an extended 24-hour self-service zone. The main part of the office is divided into an operational service zone (for quick operations), a zone for more time-consuming operations, and the cash-desk zone. There is a comfortable waiting area between these zones. At the same time, individual customer services are provided separately, in a designated area away from the main office zones. This Premium zone is for VIP customer services and there is a special room for confidential meetings.
The i2B Internet Bank is currently used by more than 99% corporate customers of Bank Saint Petersburg, with 99% of payments and FX transactions being handled remotely.
Close proximity to customers, a high processing speed and the flexibility of the decision-making process remain the traditional advantages of Bank Saint Petersburg in the Northwest Region.
The Bank introduced its continuously functioning Loan Factory project by fine-tuning the lending process throughout the entire life cycle of a loan, from application review and disbursement of funds to a loan follow-up for both individuals and legal entities. In view of the fact that loan product automation is a crucial element of the Loan Factory, the Bank standardized the procedure for the automation of newly introduced loan products.
The technological leadership of the Bank guarantees a high-speed of digital services. All Internet Bank services — loans, deposits, and cards — are easily available to customers in a click. The service is based on the timely creation of personalized offers and pre-completed forms in the channel most convenient for the customer.
Attention, responsibility and the future are the key focuses the Bank has come up with and chosen for itself in 2021 as a foundation for further development in customer service quality management.
In order to implement these principles, the Bank systematically reviews customer feedback from various interaction channels and regular quality measurements. The key quality indicators (such as NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index), and TER (Temkin Experience Rating)) are made part of the system for assessing the performance of our product and IT teams and front office workers at the Bank’s subsidiary offices, allowing the teams to focus their efforts on addressing the challenges of improving the quality of products, processes and customer service. This approach helps raise the priority of tasks aimed at achieving better quality, assess implications of measures we take on customer satisfaction, identify and resolve emerging interaction problems both online and offline.
In 2021, the main focus was placed on improving the quality and speed of response to customer requests and integrating new tools into the work of the Bank’s teams for receiving feedback from customers as early as when developing products and services, as well as for gearing products and processes to meet customer needs.
To improve the quality and speed of response to both online and offline requests, the Bank expanded the scope of powers of its Call Center staff and units for handling customer requests in social media, enabling them to resolve issues at the time the request comes in for a few types of customer requests and thus make the customer experience better.
To improve the quality of its products, processes and services, the Bank draws on international best practices to introduce new tools for customer experience research to its cross-functional teams at the stage of development. The new toolkit will integrate customer needs into the Bank’s product mix, taking into account the available technological capabilities and business profitability targets. Our international business team is the first to use these tools, as their customer-oriented approach was highly appreciated, with the NPS customer loyalty index reaching 81 percentage points in 2021.
The Quality Committee responsible for monitoring the customer service quality continued its work in 2021. The Quality Committee has provided a forum for discussing and designing optimal solutions taking into account the interests and needs of our customers.
In 2021, well-coordinated work of all divisions has made our customers receptive to the Bank’s efforts.
The Bank strives to provide equal access to its products and services to all customers. It has put in place and regularly refines the rules and regulations on a barrier-free and accessible environment.
In particular, the following has been done to improve the accessibility of our offices:
- Accessibility Certificates for the Bank’s subsidiary offices were prepared based on a discussion and agreement with the Public Association of Disabled Persons;
- Wireless call buttons were installed;
- Six subsidiary offices of the Bank were equipped with fixed electrical lifting devices;
- Seven subsidiary offices of the Bank were equipped with ramps;
- Ten mobile tracked stair lifts were procured;
- All subsidiary offices of the Bank are provided with anti-slip contrast strips systems on flights of stairs;
- Tactile mnemonic diagrams with Braille labels for the spatial orientation of the visually impaired were installed in the Bank’s subsidiary offices;
- A service for wheel-chaired visitors was put in place. As and where necessary, the Bank provides a tracked stair lift for the transportation of wheel-chaired disabled persons up the stairs.
The Bank strives to adapt its applications to the greatest extent possible in order to make them comfortable to use for all user groups. The Bank’s online banking service has been recognized as the most accessible for people with impaired vision. The Arts, Science and Sports Charity Foundation in cooperation with the Everland inclusiveness project studied the accessibility of mobile and online services offered by different organizations as part of the Special Look program intended to support people with visual impairments. Among other things, the expert evaluation covered banking services. The online banking service offered by Bank Saint Petersburg was recognized as the most accessible for people with visual problems, scoring 5 out of 5 possible points.
The online banking service of Bank Saint Petersburg was rated as one of the leaders in terms of convenience by an annual comparative study of convenience and accessibility of mobile banking solutions and online banking services for individuals conducted by USABILITYLAB. The online banking service was especially noted for its accessibility for blind users.
USABILITYLAB’s study included 21 Russian banks and reviewed 17 user scenarios, including payments and transfers, handling bank cards and deposits, making settings, and viewing payment history. Moreover, the study reviewed the accessibility of online banking services for screen readers — the technology used by blind users to access electronic banking services. The online banking service of Bank Saint Petersburg became one of the leaders in terms of accessibility for blind users.
The Bank pays much attention to the security of its remote banking systems. Protection of the clients’ data and transactions is one of the Bank’s top priorities. In 2020, the Bank embarked on the implementation of the three-year Information Security Strategy which determines the areas of improvement for the information security system and draws on the Bank’s Development Strategy.
To minimize the information security risks and potential use of unprotected services/transactions, information security professionals are engaged in the project cycle at the earliest stage. The Bank has also put in place a static source code analyzer and an open source software scanner as part of the development life cycle.
In 2021, penetration testing was completed on a number of critical information systems and information system security review plans for 2022 were prepared with the view to improve the protection levels of the Bank’s internal information systems and minimize the risk of unprotected systems and processes vulnerable to cyberattacks.
In order for the Bank to safely use cloud technology, it has put in place the Cloud Service Security Policy which, in particular, lists potential risks, their consequences, and possible measures to minimize them.
2021 saw the introduction of a privileged account management system for monitoring administrators’ actions in real time. More than 1,800 servers of the Bank are connected to the system and more than 270 administrators use it on a 24-hour basis.
The Bank continues to expand and develop cooperation with the leading Russian and international information security companies, thereby providing a high standard of protection of the Bank’s infrastructure, banking information and services.
Bank Saint Petersburg has successfully passed a regular audit for compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), showing a high level of protection of payments using payment cards that are processed via the Bank’s processing center.
The Bank is actively working to combat fraud in relation to the Bank's customers: a round-the-clock service has been created and is functioning. There is an automated Antifraud system that allows you to detect suspicious transactions. In 2021, the Antifraud system prevented the loss of customers by more than 98 million rubles.
In 2021, a fraudulent scheme intensified in the country - a client, under the influence of fraudsters, contacts the Bank's office, cashes out funds at the Bank's cash desk and then transfers funds to fraudsters.
As part of the interaction between the Security Department and employees of the branch network, a strategy for preventing fraud in relation to customers was developed according to this scheme:
- a regulation has been developed that takes into account the features of detecting this fraud, the features of communication with a client, possibly under the influence of a third party;
- undergoes regular training of client managers, financial experts by security officers;
- Quality control of each incident is carried out.
Employees of the branch network in some cases are the first to communicate with customers and, having shown attentiveness and vigilance, they may notice signs of dubious transactions that the client intends to make under the influence of fraudsters. Respond in a timely manner - ask the client questions, conduct explanatory work, direct the client to the work of the Security Department.
In 2021, losses amounted to 128 million rubles were prevented (including potential credit losses of the bank - 75 million rubles). In total, over 226 million rubles of customer losses were prevented in 2021.
Work is underway to further develop the Antifraud system of the Bank and introduce a new Antifraud solution, develop a strategy for interaction between the Security Department and the branch network to prevent fraud, channels for informing customers about possible fraud schemes.
Active work is being carried out to develop the financial literacy of clients and support financial security. As part of this area, the Bank's social networks regularly publish messages on countering fraudsters, social phishing, and information theft. Over 30 such messages were published in 2021. Seminars are held for clients - individuals and legal entities, where he talks about the optimal organization of the financial side of business, economics and investments.