2020 KEY EVENTS 2020 KEY EVENTS
VTB became the first bank in Russia to launch video ATMs offering online consultations with call centre staff. The technology reduced customer service times and helped cover more than 90% of the standard services provided by office employees.
VTB switched its banking network to paperless technology, making customer service faster and more secure. Customers can now sign documents electronically at all points of sale.
Euromoney named VTB Private Banking the best in Russia for investment management.
VTB Capital Investments received the Best Broker 2019 award – for the third year in a row – from Moscow Exchange at the annual Best Private Investor 2019 competition.
VTB Bank together with Rostelecom unveiled the first banking app for the Russian mobile operating system (OS) Aurora. With the launch of the new app, all of VTB’s main banking services became available to users of devices based on the Aurora OS.
VTB launched a remote service for small and medium-sized businesses, Cifra, ridding customers of the need to visit bank offices. The new app provides tools that individual entrepreneurs need to handle all of their document management: tax accounting, consulting and other functions. With the Cifra app, users can independently track financial transactions, manage several accounts in different banks, and receive work reminders and personalised expert recommendations based on deep market analytics.
VTB launched a comprehensive programme to help borrowers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Under its terms, all borrowers who took sick leave as a result of COVID-19 were able to defer payments on cash loans and mortgages for up to three months. Upon receipt of an application and the necessary documentation, the service was activated automatically.
VTB Bank enjoyed record shareholder growth, with its total number of shareholders surpassing 200 thousand.
VTB made it possible to use biometrics to open an account remotely. Now a person can become a VTB client by registering on the Bank’s website instead of visiting a branch.
VTB together with PIK Group issued the first online mortgage loan in Russia. The new process for obtaining a mortgage loan is completely digital and does not require a visit to a Bank office. Mortgage payments are made online through the secure payment service Square Meter.
VTB began accepting applications and issuing mortgages as part of the State-Supported Mortgage 2020 mortgage subsidy programme, which enabled customers to take loans at a preferential rate for the purchase of new housing. Through the programme, VTB Bank issued more than 63 thousand loans in 2020 worth more than RUB 198 billion.
VTB Group launched Digital Credit, a digital platform for lending to large corporate clients. The platform made the lending process more transparent and reduced the time needed to make decisions on corporate loans. The system enables Bank divisions to collaborate in a single digital space, making it possible to advance from the application stage to approval of the credit limit and agreement on the loan terms with the client practically without the use of paper.
VTB Capital Investments launched responsible
open-endinvestment funds: VTB Equity Fund: Responsible Investment and VTB Bond Fund: Responsible Investments. In managing the funds, the investment team focuses not only on financial aspects but also on factors related to the company’s environmental, social and governance policies.
VTB launched a service for remote registration with Rosreestr of real estate security agreements for business loans. This service makes it possible to register an agreement remotely in which the pledger is a legal entity. The innovative service is implemented through remote access on the Square Meter platform in VTB Group’s real estate ecosystem. All information is transmitted via encrypted communication channels, thus guaranteeing complete information security. Advanced encryption technologies allow the client to issue an enhanced qualified electronic signature and to submit a security agreement for registration without making additional visits to Rosreestr or Multifunctional Centres for the Provision of State Services.
VTB Group received a patent for a technology developed by Bank specialists for the selection of loan offers for clients. The technology reduces the time needed to formulate proposals, select several products at the same time and to generate the greatest-possible number of combinations of credit and insurance products in one request.
VTB, the only Russian bank with a financial licence to conduct banking operations in China, opened a new office in Shanghai. The expansion of our presence in the region made it possible to continue building our client base, to launch a line of new products and to qualitatively improve the infrastructure and information environment. The need for a new office arose as a result of the constantly increasing volume of VTB’s business in China.
VTB launched a new On-Site service option, which enables clients to open a current account without visiting a Bank branch. The service can be used by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, as well as individuals engaged in private practice.
VTB Bank presented its Shareholder’s Guide, a new form of reporting for shareholders and investors. The purpose of the guide is to help private investors purchasing VTB shares to navigate through VTB Group’s structure and corporate governance principles and to understand their rights and obligations. The guide offers a compact overview of all the information that may be useful to investors – from the structure of VTB Group and its ownership to information about the Bank’s ESG initiatives. Links and QR codes are integrated into the document, which can be used to instantly access more detailed information on VTB’s website and in other resources.
VTB Capital Investments, Russia’s largest wealth management platform, launched the first comprehensive savings management service for users of Yandex, a leading technology company. The new service made it possible for millions of Russians to invest cheaply, quickly and conveniently in traditional products, without queues or filling out documents, directly on the Yandex Plus platform, to invest in bonds and stocks available on the Moscow and St. Petersburg stock exchanges, to exchange foreign currency at a rate close to the official exchange rate, and much more.
VTB Bank was recognised as the best brokerage in Russia for the second year in a row. The Bank won the Stock Market Elite 2019 competition held by the National Association of Stock Market Participants.
VTB relaunched its flagship product, debit Multicard, with no issuance or service fees. The card is now fully customisable and adjustable for client needs, while the scheme of rewards accrual became more intuitive and simple. For clients who want to grow their savings, VTB launched a convenient instrument: an Investments bonus option, which allows holders of a Multicard to earn cash back that is credited directly to their brokerage account. The cash can be spent on purchases of VTB shares and other assets in the VTB My Investments app. Moreover, the new card offers up to 15% cash back on purchases from partner companies, free cash withdrawals from VTB Bank’s 16 thousand ATMs and many other services that make daily operations remunerative and convenient.
VTB launched a project to create and use bots in support processes for customer operations. Employees themselves choose which processes can and should be roboticised, and then they add the digital assistants to their workflow. The new bots make it possible to reduce the share of routine operations, including document processing and data entry, and to reduce the cost of the processes involved in the corresponding stages by 3–4 times while also increasing the speed at which they can be carried out.
VTB Bank completed the first stage of the implementation of its Data Governance system, which has made it possible to speed up business analysis processes. The new system makes it possible to classify the Bank’s data more efficiently and to manage it centrally. With the help of the new analytics system, data scientists, IT professionals and other Bank employees can check the quality and reliability of corporate data more quickly. The Bank was able to accelerate the segmentation of customer data, come up with more personalised offers, develop a partner ecosystem and bring new products and services to market faster.
VTB received annual Visa Global Service Quality Awards in several categories. International experts noted the excellent performance of the VTB team, which was achieved thanks to the effectiveness of operational and technical support in combination with excellence in product development, content and promotion. VTB received four of the five awards that Visa handed out in Russia, including the award for Emerging Payment Adoption – Tokenisation and Emerging Payment Adoption – Contactless Payments.
VTB started large-scale modernisation of its regional network, which should make the network even more convenient and accessible, as well as highly effective from the point of view of transitioning most products to digital. The new offices are designed in such a way as to ensure that customers are given personal attention and to provide the most comfortable experience at all stages of service. By the end of 2020, VTB had opened six offices in the new format. Beginning in 2021, VTB plans to launch every new branch in this format.
VTB launched its VTB Business Lite mobile app enabling remote service for entrepreneurs. The mobile banking app features a new design, improved navigation and expanded functionality for financial business management. VTB Business Lite is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app simplifies daily operations and offers the most popular services and products.
The number of VTB shareholders surpassed 300 thousand. By the end of August, the number of VTB retail shareholders had grown to 312 thousand. As of the end of the year, the register of VTB shareholders included 337 thousand shareholders, including 336 thousand retail shareholders.
VTB Bank was named the best transaction bank in Central and Eastern Europe according to the British magazine The Banker. The leading global publication’s annual Transaction Banking Awards recognise the world’s best banks for business. The jury for the competition includes reputable experts in finance.
VTB launched a new mobile app called VTB Business QR for Medium and Small Business clients, which makes it possible to accept payments from individuals using a QR code through the Faster Payments System without using cards or terminals. The service also enables individual entrepreneurs to generate and send receipts to buyers, to keep records of income from cash and non-cash transactions and to create receipts for tax purposes.
VTB started implementing the first credit conveyor in Russia based on a microservice platform that uses advanced analytics. As part of the project, a new technology was launched for the development of pre-approved offers for cash loans and credit cards. In 2022, it will enable VTB to make 95% of decisions on granting loans to retail customers in 1–3 minutes.
VTB Bank’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders was held based on the results for 2019. In accordance with the recommendations of the Bank of Russia and a decision of the Supervisory Council, the meeting was held in the form of absentee voting. From 1 to 24 September, a total of 4,191 Bank shareholders took part in absentee voting, 96% of whom voted electronically through the VTB Shareholder mobile app or on the VTB Registrar website. The number of participants increased by 78% from the previous year.
Based on the results of its annual independent monitoring, the Russian Institute of Directors raised VTB’s national corporate governance rating to 8 (best corporate governance practice).
VTB Capital hosted the 12th annual Russia Calling! investment forum on 29–30 October 2020. The main theme of the event was Global Challenges, Local Remedies. The forum was broadcast to a wide audience for the first time. Experts took part in discussions from studios around the world, including in Europe, the United States, Asia and the Middle East. As has traditionally been the case, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a dialogue with foreign business people and investors during the macroeconomic plenary session.
VTB launched a completely new VTB Online mobile bank for its clients. VTB Online doubled its operating speed and tripled its maximum capacity. The app’s design was completely updated, and 50 new functions were added, including cash withdrawals from ATMs without using a card.
VTB Group and the Square Meter real estate ecosystem launched a service called M2. Panorama. Using an Internet browser, the service enables customers to select a property from a developer and take a virtual tour with an online consultant – all in the comfort of their home. Customers wishing to purchase real estate remotely in one of a number of Russian cities can do so with a consultant who informs them about the property’s features and conducts virtual tours of the apartments they like.
VTB expanded the range of payment services for small and medium-sized businesses and launched a pilot product called VTB Kassa. The product combines the functions of an online checkout and an acquiring terminal. VTB Kassa is a ready-made solution for various business areas and working conditions. The device, which comes in the form of a compact wireless smart terminal with a built-in barcode scanner, accepts bank cards, prints sales receipts and transmits data to the Federal Tax Service in real time.
VTB, together with Rostelecom, began testing a facial identification project for retail clients at Bank branches. Verification is carried out at the entrance, while moving around inside and during face-to-face service. The technology makes it possible to increase the security of transactions and reduce the time needed to serve customers. Expansion of the project to cover the entire network is planned in 2021. Biometric acquiring will simplify customer service considerably, reduce queuing time and make the checkout process as barrier-free as possible. This will make it even more convenient for visitors to pay for purchases at self-checkout counters, while also reducing store costs.
VTB received the Bank of the Year 2020 award from the British magazine The Banker as the best Russian bank. The main assessment criteria for the magazine’s experts were the Bank’s digital transformation and strategic development, its stability amid strong market volatility and the effectiveness of its customer support measures during the pandemic.
VTB Bank launched pilot testing of 12 technological solutions with a new intake of startups from the VTB Accelerator, arranged in partnership with the Internet Initiatives Development Fund. They include a facial recognition payment technology, a payment service for self-employed individuals through the Faster Payments System, a technology enabling mobile electronic document signatures, HR services and others. The solutions were selected based on the results of a new intake through the VTB Corporate Accelerator, a platform used to find and pilot innovative technologies from the open market for their further use in the Bank.
At the end of 2020, VTB Capital was named a winner in the prestigious international Mergermarket Europe M&A Awards 2020 and the Finance Monthly Global Awards 2020. Mergermarket named VTB Capital Financial Advisor of the Year in the field of mergers and acquisitions in Russia, recognising the investment bank’s work as the best in the country. VTB Capital won the annual Finance Monthly award in the Investment Banking Business – United Kingdom category.