Bank Saint Petersburg is the largest private bank in Northwest Russia. Financial services rendered by the Bank support regional development and sustainable real economy growth, helping individuals reach their financial targets.
Customer services still constitute the core of the Bank’s business. The Bank has over 1 400 000 individual and over 55 000 corporate customers. As before, more than 60% of assets are represented by customer loans and more than 60% of liabilities consist of customer deposits.
Closeness to customers, high processing speed, and flexibility of decisions remain the traditional advantages of Bank Saint Petersburg in the region. Combined with the introduction of new quality standards for all operations, settlements and services, and the offering of socially-oriented products, these factors determine the Bank’s contribution to the social and economic growth of the Russian Northwest.
CLOSENESS TO CUSTOMERS
The Bank continues to develop its branch network in St. Petersburg, creating the most up-to-date outlets, lending centers and round-the-clock service spots that are designed to be convenient for customers. The Bank’s customer service network comprises 48 outlets, 5 mortgage lending centers and 2 car lending centers. The number of ATMs and POS terminals was increased in the reporting year to 658 and 6 471 respectively.
Apart from a wider branch network, greater accessibility of banking services for customers is also ensured by the introduction of high-tech solutions. One of the high priority tasks is to support the Bank’s rapid development in the Internet environment, transferring services to the Web ahead of actual market demand.
In 2014, Bank Saint Petersburg launched a conceptually new Internet Bank for corporate customers. Accommodating all current IT trends, it made customer interactions with the Bank smooth and simple, allowing customers to perform most account transactions without the need to visit the Bank's office. Customers can access the Internet Bank using any device, including smartphones, and any Internet browser, as well as correspond with the Bank online.
The successful development of the Internet Bank for individuals continued throughout 2014. Among the key innovations: fully remote loan origination (application, review status reports, loan disbursement), card to card money transfers based on MasterCard MoneySend and Visa Money Transfer, interactive calendar of events, and a functionality enabling receipt and single click payment of utility bills.
The Bank's progress was recognized by both customers and professional market players on the regional and federal levels. The high quality of mortgage lending services made the Bank an award winner in the Customer Confidence competition. Two other prizes secured by the Bank in the reporting year were the 2014 National Banking Award and Russian Financial Elite Award. The St. Petersburg Economic Policy and Strategic Planning Committee distinguished the Bank with a Certificate of Merit and a commendation for its achievements in implementing the social and economic policy in St. Petersburg.
HIGH SPEED AND FLEXIBILITY OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
The Bank stands out among the regional banks thanks to its ability to promptly take innovative decisions, which are the best in the market, and to show flexible response to customers’ needs.
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 loan follow-up for both individuals and legal entities. In view of the fact that loan product automation is the crucial element of its Loan Factory, the Bank standardized the procedure for automation of newly introduced loan products.
An important improvement of the Internet Bank was the optimized operating speed of its services. As a result, transactions are processed 2 to 3 times faster.
The Bank guarantees an individual approach to its customers by segmenting its customer services departments: SME units are distinguished from those working with large corporates, and retail services are separated from Private Banking.
The large corporates unit contains an Investment Department and four dedicated divisions developing business with clients in certain industries. This approach to client servicing enables the quality of sector expertise to be enhanced and banking services to be customized to each client’s needs.
HIGH QUALITY SERVICE
Bank Saint Petersburg is striving to become the leading bank in the Northwest Region in terms of service quality, and, in view of this strategic goal, continues to improve its service quality management procedures. One example of such is the dedicated Service Quality Management Department created within the Bank. In addition to quality customer services provided by the Bank's outlets, considerable focus is placed on the technologies making the Bank's products and services easier to use and more accessible to its customers. The convenient service structure spans across the entire range of remote banking channels.
A system for monitoring and processing customer queries was also created to allow the Bank to respond to any request with maximum efficiency. The system provides customers with easily accessible feedback channels and handles any type of customer queries, including actual visits to the Bank, phone calls, e-mails and regular mail, as well as comments in the most popular social networks.
The quality of the Bank's products and services was distinguished in 2014 by a number of awards, including the National Quality Trademark 2014 Russian nationwide award established by the Business Initiative Support Fund. Bank Saint Petersburg was also among the leaders of Retail Finance magazine's customer service rating of Russian banks.
Retail sphere expertise and a reputation as a reliable partner allow Bank Saint Petersburg to render its 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.
As part of the Bank’s joint project with OJSC “St. Petersburg Mortgage Agency”, the Bank is involved in programs such as “Affordable Housing for the Young” and “St. Petersburg Housing Finance Development”, striving to make them convenient and affordable for the majority of private customers.
For the past decade the Bank has been issuing and servicing the "Newborn" and "Preschool" social benefits cards to which child benefit payments are credited from the St. Petersburg city budget, and which can subsequently be used to make payments for baby and childcare products in specialized stores. The terms and conditions for using such cards ensure targeted receipt and spending of the child benefit funds. The Bank continuously broadens the network of retailers accepting the cards and improves their infrastructure.
In 2014, the Bank issued guarantees to OJSC GSK securing the performance of government contracts for design and construction of two preschool educational institutions in the Primorsky and Frunzensky Districts of St. Petersburg.
Since 2011, under an agreement with the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, pensions are paid not only to St. Petersburg pensioners, but also to individuals living in the Leningrad Region. As of January 1, 2015, more than 9 254 pensioners had received the Bank’s cards.
On the whole, the Bank’s focus on private customers and small and medium enterprises determined its higher standards for working with customers, processing speed and flexibility of decisions, as well as the quality of services provided by the Bank. The new standards were established for each product and each internal process, taking on strategic significance.