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 2 077 000 retail customers, forming a solid base for the future successful growth of its retail business.
Throughout 2020, the retail loan portfolio increased by 12.0% to RUB 115.3 bn, mortgage loans grew by 16.8%, consumer loans grew by 1.5%, and car loans grew by 2.0%. The share of loans to individuals reached 25.1% of the total loan portfolio.
In 2020, the total amount of retail deposits increased by 10.9%, totaling RUB 276.0 bn. The share of retail deposits amounted to 57.6% of total customer deposits.
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, 2021.
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 2020. 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 79% of retail deposits placed in 2020.
In 2020, the mobile application was expanded to include a capability to open any deposit offered by the Bank, resulting in an 88% increase in the number of deposits opened via the mobile platform.
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, 2021, a total number of all types of plastic bank cards issued reached 1 459 000. The Bank has also seen an annual increase in the number of its payroll customers: over 8 000 payroll programs with over 650 000 active payroll cards as of January 1, 2021.
To ensure compliance with the Federal Law on the National Payment System, the Bank issued more than 140 000 MIR cards in 2020.
In addition, all holders of the 100 Days cards issued by Bank Saint Petersburg are enrolled on the Mastercard’s Privilege Program where they can have access to special offers, enjoy up to 40% discounts, and earn up to 20% cashback from Mastercard’s partners.
In response to the coronavirus challenge, in 2020, the Bank issued a virtual card for online shopping. Visa Virtual is a new debit card specifically designed for purchasing goods and services online. Holders can shop in any web-based stores, buy air and rail tickets online, pay for purchases without limits, including online games, music and movie downloads, and many more, without leaving their homes.
The Visa Virtual card is part of the Bank’s #ICAN_ONLINE ecosystem launched to support its clients in the context of the COVID-19 expansion. It accommodates financial services that are particularly relevant when the Bank’s dealings with clients are fully remote.
In 2020, the Bank updated its Service Terms for payroll card holders. Now, free withdrawals from any ATMs of any bank across Russia are available to the Bank’s payroll clients twice every month.
Besides, all payroll cards participate in the YARKO awards scheme which is designed for the ICOUNT card, our new attractive product.
In autumn 2020, the Bank launched a new card product ICOUNT in all regions of operations, which previously 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 1.5% payback of the amounts spent and up to 20% when buying from the Bank’s partners. The card is available online, it takes three minutes to place an order. The card then can be acquired through the branch network or courier service.
In 2020, the Bank launched Mastercard® 100 Days, a new credit card featuring a longer grace period. Bank Saint Petersburg’s new product breaks the traditional perception of credit cards by allowing its cardholders to make any purchases on credit for three months without paying any interest to the Bank. In addition, the 100 Days credit card can substitute for your other credit cards: thanks to its higher credit limit of up to RUB 750 thousand and a grace period of 100 days, it will combine loans and credit cards from other banks into a single card. Besides, no annual fee will be charged for your Mastercard® 100 Days for the first year of service.
In 2020, the total number of pension cards exceeded 78 000.
In 2020, 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 4.8 thousand organizations in the housing and utilities sector and telecommunications services.
The audience of customers active in digital channels increased by 15% and amounted to 539 000 users in December, while the number of transfers made increased by 21% and in December for the first time exceeded 1.2 mln transactions per month.
In 2020, the number of tax payments made through the Bank’s digital channels amounted to 68 000 payments and increased by 84% compared to 2019.
The number of users of the mobile application grew throughout 2020 at a fast pace and amounted to 460 500 people in December, which is 24% more than the figure as of the year beginning. An increase in the number of transfers made by these customers amounted to more than 27%, reaching 921 500 operations per month.
In 2020, the Bank invited its clients to extend their vacation season by paying for travel services via its online banking portal and mobile app without fees. Clients can use the Bank’s digital channels to make no-fee payments for orders, tickets and trips to most of the key travel agencies.
In 2020, the Bank offered its customers to join three loyalty programs:
In 2020, the YARKO bonus loyalty program celebrated its 6th anniversary and surprised its customers with great gifts from the program’s partners.
The YARKO program is actively contributing to the development of the partner pipeline. 2020 saw the launch of more than 200 new partners, with particular focus being placed on online services and those partners who can offer new opportunities to our cardholders. The program’s catalogue was expanded to include partners such as Yandex.Zapravki, Perekryostok Vprok online hypermarket, and IVI online movie theater. We have also engaged partners sought after by clients, such as the pharmacy chains Ozerki, Pervaya Pomoshch, and Doktor Stoletov.
Strong confidence of YARKO customers is unchanged with their number reaching 852 000 as of January 1, 2021. At the same time, the number of active users of the program has increased by 14% compared to the previous year.
The Bank’s loyalty programs have been highly appreciated by independent experts. The Bank has won three awards in the 7th Annual Loyalty Awards Russia Competition. In 2020, the Competition included 173 projects from 94 companies. The Bank has become the winner in three categories: The Team of the Year, The Best Loyalty Program from Financial Institutes for its YARKO Bonus Program, and the Person of the Year awarded to Yekaterina Zvonova, Director of the Department of Mass Segments, Marketing and Big Data Analytics who heads the YARKO development team.
In 2020, the Bank launched a bunch of products and services for the self-employed — a new customer segment comprised of individuals who earn professional income from activities that have neither an employer nor workers hired under employment contracts, or income from the use of property.
With our services for the self-employed, a client can:
The Bank is represented by six Mortgage Lending Centers (four in St. Petersburg, one in Moscow and one in Kaliningrad). Also mortgage lending is available in the Novosibirsk branсh. In the Mortgage Lending Centers 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 2020, the Bank provided a total of RUB 36.1 bn in the form of 11 978 loans, compared to RUB 25.1 bn and 10 146 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 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 2020, more than 620 developers and over 1 100 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 2020, the Bank launched a mortgage lending program under the national interest rate subsidy scheme. The interest rate on mortgage loans subsidized by the government was 6% per annum for the Bank’s payroll clients and 6.25% per annum for other customers.
As at the year end, the Bank ranked among the top 10 banks in terms of the amount of government-subsidized mortgage loans.
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.
By the end of December 2020, the Bank opened over 7 000 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.
Also, in 2020, the Bank opened more than 1 000 escrow accounts for the purposes of payments between a participant of share-equity construction, of the one part, and a developer, of the other, under co-investment contracts under Federal Law No. 214-FZ.
To develop its remote services, in 2020, the Bank simplified its mortgage documentation package and made it available online. In addition, the Bank began issuing mortgage loans to buyers of real estate properties on the primary market, with co-investment contracts being registered electronically. The Bank’s borrowers buying real properties from PIK Group were the first to engage in new format transactions. Also, the Bank abandoned the practice of mandatory mortgage bonds on the secondary real estate market. Now, its clients may get their transactions registered online via a notary public or the Bank’s own services.
The Bank has launched a smart mortgage program for acquisitions on the secondary housing market. Now, the Bank processes mortgage applications without an appraisal report and other additional documents for the subject project. What is required is only the documents of title. Applications are processed within up to two days.
In 2020, the Bank launched a real estate showcase on its website, where developers offer more than 4 000 residential facilities. Almost all of the projects under construction in St. Petersburg, Leningrad Region and Kaliningrad, have been accredited for mortgage loans by the Bank. In addition to residential construction projects, the real estate showcase will help the Bank’s clients to select an apartment on the secondary market from among more than 1.2 mln available options.
The service hosted on dom.bspb.ru is provided by the Bank in cooperation with CIAN, a major online real estate marketplace. The real estate showcase will help you find an apartment for your approved mortgage loan. You can also go the other way round: choose a real estate property and immediately submit a mortgage application. Besides, the website provides you with the point-and-click access to the Bank’s operators and mortgage advisors who can help you navigate through the real estate showcase to make the right choice or advise you on what to do further, how to make an application, what documents you need for making a transaction and getting a loan, and so on.
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 2020, the Bank successfully launched a project to develop its car loan business in regions, thus expanding its geography and ramping up its customer base and partner network.
In 2020, the Bank efficiently managed competitive product lines and interest rates, continued to maintain its high-quality car loan portfolio, and 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, and to keep up with main market trends have also enabled the Bank to gain strong footing in the car loan business.
From 2020 onwards, the Bank offers its clients to carry out a car purchase transaction with a secure payment arrangement using an escrow account.
Where the escrow method is chosen, the car purchase transaction is closed at the Bank. The Bank undertakes drafting a sale and purchase contract, counting and verifying the cash. The money is deposited to an escrow account. The seller and the buyer sign the car purchase contract and the seller hands over the keys and documents to the buyer. The buyer gets the vehicle registered with the Road Police, and only thereafter the Bank transfers the funds to the seller. Thus, such a transaction poses no risk of buying a car that is pledged, stolen or seized by the court. There is no need for the seller to carry cash around, as after the registration of the car, the money is credited to their own account from which it can be withdrawn or transferred to an account with another bank without bank fees.
Starting from 2020, the Bank offers a service for selling vehicles used as collateral for loans. This type of transactions involves assisting individual clients with the sale of a car held as collateral by the Bank, namely the following:
In 2020, the Bank ranked 5th out of 20 among the Best St. Petersburg Banks 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. 85% 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.
Bank Saint Petersburg has expanded capabilities of its Time is Money lending product involving deposit secured loans for retail clients. Now, a loan can be issued to any client of the Bank who is willing to put up their valid deposit or promissory note as collateral. So, if a client urgently needs money for any purpose, there is no need to close their term deposit prematurely and thus lose interest on it, but instead they can obtain a loan for the required amount secured by their deposit. What is particularly important about the Time is Money loans is that decisions are made quickly (you can borrow within a day) and the terms are quite simple — all you need is just a couple of documents, including an application, passport, and promissory note to be put up as collateral, if any.
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.
2020 was a good 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 2020 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.