RETAIL BUSINESS RETAIL BUSINESS
The Retail Business global business line specialises in banking services for individuals, providing a wide range of financial products and services that fully cover the needs of clients.
The Russian mortgage market grew in 2020, with Russian banks issuing some RUB 4.5 trillion in mortgages. VTB Bank issued a record RUB 958 billion in mortgage loans, which was a 35% year-on-year increase. Thus, the Bank helped 354 thousand Russian families acquire housing. The Group’s housing loan portfolio grew by 24.3% over the year to over RUB 2 trillion. At the end of the reporting period, VTB held 23.0% of the housing loan market in Russia.
The main drivers of growth in mortgage sales were the digitalisation of business; a decrease in rates, which helped reduce personal debt; and a preferential lending programme with state support.
VTB was the first bank in the country to launch the Mortgage with State Support 2020 lending programme. VTB’s customers were issued over 63 thousand loans in the amount of around RUB 200 billion through the preferential lending programme.
The decrease in rates resulted in higher demand on the part of borrowers for mortgage refinancing. In 2020, more than 114 thousand clients were able to reduce their rates at VTB and their mortgage payments by RUB 255 billion. The share of such transactions reached 27% of sales, up from 13% in 2019.
Amid the pandemic, VTB accelerated the digitalisation of its mortgage business. VTB’s personal account service is being developed
Particular attention was paid to families with children. VTB Bank not only expanded the options available through the programme of state subsidies for mortgages for families with children (adding the category of disabled children and expanding the designated purpose) but also launched its own support programme for families who had a second or subsequent child in 2020. Nearly 2 thousand of these loans were issued in 2020 for a total of RUB 5 billion.
VTB expanded the terms for mortgage lending with the use of family allowances. In addition to using family allowances for down payments and the early repayment of loans, the Bank made it possible for borrowers to use family allowances to obtain a loan without a down payment if it covered at least 15% of the cost of the property. In total, more than 10 thousand loans were issued using family allowances in 2020; the total amount of family allowances came to RUB 4.9 billion.
VTB continued to lend to military personnel participating in the accumulative mortgage system, issuing almost 1 thousand loans for RUB 1.9 billion. A refinancing programme for military personnel was piloted, and its full-scale launch was completed in February 2021.
As of the end of the year, VTB Bank was the leader in the mortgage securitisation market in Russia with a market share of 51% Review of the mortgage bonds market in 2020, DOM.RF. . In 2020, a record amount of mortgage bonds were issued in the Russian securities market (issued by the DOM.RF Mortgage Agent), secured by VTB Bank’s portfolio of mortgage loans, in the amount of RUB 192 billion. This was the sixth joint issue by VTB and DOM.RF, worth a total of over RUB 579 billion.
Mortgages were able to become a growth driver for VTB’s Retail Business thanks to excellent lending conditions, the ability to choose the best programme for a specific customer and advanced service.
In 2020, a number of restrictions related to quarantine and self-isolation were in force, which held back growth in the consumer lending market. Once quarantine measures were relaxed, sales of consumer loans resumed. The volume of loans issued by VTB in 4Q 2020 increased 44% year-on-year.
As of 31 December 2020, VTB Group’s consumer loan portfolio amounted to RUB 1.6 trillion, showing annual growth of RUB 105 billion (up 7% for the year).
Attractive interest rates enabled the Bank to increase its market share in terms of the volume of cash loans issued in 2020 by 4 p.p. compared with the same period of the previous year (in December 2020, VTB’s market share in terms of the amount of loans issued was 18.3%).
The main focus in 2020 was the development of remote channels. In May 2020, loan applications through VTB Online became available for Android mobile devices and through Internet banking (implemented in December 2019 for mobile devices using iOS). This greatly simplified the process for payroll customers (only seven fields, and the application was filled in from existing data) and made it possible to obtain a loan without visiting a Bank office (so-called Zero Visits technology). In 2H 2020, the number of offers available for registration through digital channels without a visit to a Bank office increased. This was achieved through the introduction of a new retail credit conveyor for the creation of pre-approved offers.
The share of loans issued using Zero Visits technology increased from 17% as of January 2020 to 31% as of December 2020.
Most car dealers suspended operations during the pandemic, which had a negative impact on the car loan market. The total volume of car loans issued by VTB Group for the year amounted to RUB 80 billion, including RUB 50.6 billion in the second half of the year, which was on par with 2019 results. The share of loans for the purchase of new cars among VTB’s total car loans amounted to 85% in 2020; the rest were for used cars or were unsecured car loans.
As of 31 December 2020, VTB Group’s car loan portfolio amounted to RUB 123 billion; VTB Group’s market share was 11.5%.
VTB has been developing digital channels and its own channels for selling car loans (the VTB website, the VTB Online mobile and Internet application, web surfing by customers, etc.). The share of digital channels in 2020 doubled from 10.2% in January 2020 to 20.2% by the end of 2020.
In the course of building a complete digital path for obtaining a car loan, the following measures were taken:
- online applications for car loans were introduced on the Bank’s website and through VTB Online with approval in several minutes (approval using Zero Visits technology);
- an online showcase for choosing cars from partners was launched on the Bank’s website with the option of reserving a car;
- the first pilot transactions in Russia for the purchase of cars on credit using Zero Visits technology were carried out with the subsequent delivery of the car to the customer;
- a pilot project was implemented to conduct digital transactions for car loans through the Bank’s mobile application;
- an unsecured car loan programme was launched enabling customers to purchase any car. The programme is aimed first and foremost at the purchase of used cars on credit, including on major car sales websites.
The Bank continued to develop programmes with major automakers and offered its customers special conditions for using a loan to buy cars made by Lada, Volvo, Subaru, Suzuki, Land Rover, Jaguar and Honda, as well as a number of other brands.
Retail deposits and accounts
As of 31 December 2020, the Group’s retail customer portfolio amounted to RUB 5.7 trillion, an increase of 14% in 2020. The portfolio of rouble-denominated deposits and savings accounts increased by RUB 128 billion, with the portfolio of rouble-denominated savings accounts increasing nearly 2.5x. In 2020, 265 thousand new customers opened savings accounts and made deposits; the client base of savings account holders and customers making deposits reached 3.4 million.
The product line of term deposits and the functionality of savings accounts underwent significant updates:
- the basic functionality of Savings Jar accumulative accounts was expanded: the interest rate and income for the current reporting period were added to the online application, the restriction on the number of open accounts was removed, and the ability to close an account through the online application was added;
- an automated top-up function for savings accounts was added with flexible settings and the ability to set savings goals;
- a completely updated basic line of term deposits was introduced;
- new promotional deposits were launched:
Secure Foundation, Success Story and New Year;
- a special campaign called The Story Continues was carried out using bonus rewards to attract new customers to Success Story deposits.
Bank cards and acquiring
In 2020, VTB issued more than 900 thousand cards per month on average. The volume of payment transactions for products and services using the Bank’s cards increased by 7.2% year-on-year to more than RUB 2.1 trillion.
The bulk of cards issued were the Bank’s flagship product, Multicard, which also accounted for the bulk of purchases.
In 2020, the Bank continued to develop the Multicard product line and customer offers with respect to debit cards.
VTB’s Multicard was made completely free of charge for customers, and the terms of the loyalty programme were greatly simplified. Customers can subscribe to the loyalty programme at their own initiative through VTB Online. The process of signing up for the loyalty programme uses an intuitive procedure, whereby the customer, immediately after receiving their card, can set up a PIN code for it, choose their loyalty option and notification package and add the card to Apple Pay or Google Pay.
For the Privilege segment, VTB launched a new Multicard Travel Card product, which enables customers to receive 3% of their rewards in miles. Collected miles can be used for rail or air tickets or for items from the online Multibonus catalogue.
Sales of Eco-Multicards (made of environmentally friendly biodegradable material) began on World Environment Day.
Sales of digital cards were put into commercial operation through VTB Online. All the usual capabilities of a physical Multicard are also available for the digital version of the product.
Special conditions were launched for VTB Multicards for customers of retirement age: in addition to reward options, clients receiving a pension at VTB receive 4% interest on their account balance.
Special conditions were developed for VTB payroll clients where employees of payroll companies that are Multicard holders are able to make rouble-denominated interbank transfers free of charge.
The possibility of starting a salary card account at a Bank branch was introduced, which improves the customer experience. As part of the new process, an employer can direct new employees to a Bank branch to receive a card right away. Later, the Bank automatically adds the customer to the company’s payroll account.
Individual salary customers can now apply through VTB Online for salary transfers.
The Bank made it possible to open current accounts through VTB Online in new currencies: Chinese yuan, Armenian dram, Kazakh tenges, Norwegian kroner, Azerbaijani manat and Turkish lire.
A number of customer support measures were taken amid the pandemic, including the renewal of expiring cards.
In order to monitor expenses through mobile and Internet banking, the Bank made it possible for customers to manage card limits for selected categories.
VTB joined a social project run by the Primorsky Krai government to issue Primorets cards. The cards, issued to residents of Primorsky Krai, have all the functionality of a social card as well as additional features (a loyalty programme, interest paid on the balance for pensioners, and special offers and discounts at retail chains, pharmacies and clinics that are programme partners).
In 4Q 2020, VTB Multicards with the Citicard transport application were piloted in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The new card combines the advantages of a debit card and a travel ticket; the transport application operates with the Citicard Multicard throughout the region on six types of public transport, and discount passes are also available. The project was fully launched in February 2021.
One million new VTB credit cards were issued in 2020 thanks to the following initiatives:
- a new flagship product in the Bank’s line of credit cards was launched – the Opportunity credit card ;
- two programmes were launched to help customers in difficult situations: one enabling customers to defer two payments and the other offering a grace period through a programme introduced by Federal Law No. 106-FZ;
- bonus programmes were introduced for customers: commission-free cash withdrawals, rewards for credit card activation and cash back for categorised purchases, etc.
In 2020, a number of large acquiring projects were implemented in Moscow’s public transport system:
- VTB won a tender for acquiring turnstiles and validators on Moscow buses;
- promotions were carried out regarding payment with MIR cards with discounts for travel on the metro, Moscow Central Diameters (MCD) and for topping up parking accounts through the Moscow Parking application;
- installation of the Bank’s equipment was carried out at MCD 1 and MCD 2 facilities;
- processing of metro fare payment transactions was transferred to transport processing.
Large Internet acquiring projects were carried out:
- internet acquiring of UnionPay cards for 40 nationwide clients;
- VTB won a tender for Internet acquiring for MosOblEirts, the Moscow region’s unified information and payment centre;
- internet acquiring for Ural Airlines, Nordavia and Belavia representative offices in the Russian Federation.
A number of other large projects were also implemented:
- integrated three-in-one online checkout and VTB Kassa solutions were introduced for small and medium-sized businesses;
- payment for goods and services by means of QR codes through the Faster Payments System was made possible;
- deposits into and withdrawals from brokerage accounts in foreign currencies were made possible;
- retail acquiring was introduced for Sela, Pilsner, Kozlovice and Calzedonia;
- measures were implemented to support SMEs during the pandemic.
MULTIBONUS LOYALTY PROGRAMME
In 2020, the development of the Multibonus programme focused on new customer opportunities and philanthropy.
Customers are starting to make more and more charitable contributions. The loyalty programme enables customers to spend their bonus savings on donations to new charitable projects.
Shortly before the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, Multibonus and the veteran support foundation Memory of Generations started to cooperate, enabling all members of the loyalty programme to make a donation to support veterans.
The Multibonus programme is developing new services for customers. The one that stands out the most is the launch of the first gamified project, the Multicard Treasure Map, based on a pirate theme. Participants complete a puzzle, earn points and receive game coins and an opportunity to win valuable gifts and prizes from partners. The prize fund included more than 3 million promotional codes and certificates from partners, including TezTour, Yandex Plus, Rostelecom Wink, Sunlight, LitRes, Kari, Zamania and many others.
In 2020, VTB customers were given access to:
- 25 new partners with goods and services available in the Multibonus programme catalogue;
- more than 30 new offers from partners offering points accrual in addition to points accrued from the Bank;
- more than 40 offers on discounts and bargain purchases for members of the Multibonus programme;
- more than 80 promotions from manufacturers taking part in the new cashback for purchases programme.
Support measures for users of the Multibonus programme during the pandemic:
All Multibonus services are accessible remotely. During the pandemic, programme partners ensured the delivery of purchased items as quickly as possible.
The Miles bonus option was adapted to pandemic conditions. Since 2019, all programme members have had access to the same opportunities to purchase goods from the catalogue and travel services. During the period when borders were closed, training courses were posted on the programme website, and materials were developed for sales staff enabling them to browse the goods and services available for purchase in the catalogue.
For programme participants, offers for increased points were prepared from partners, as were discounts on leisure services, online cinemas and training resources. In addition, Multibonus prepared a number of selections with items from the catalogue, which helped people gain a benefit while comfortably passing time in isolation.
Investment services for retail customers
Investment services for VTB Group retail customers are offered through the VTB Capital Investments platform.
The VTB Capital Investments business line, which provides services to individuals, demonstrated vigorous growth in 2020, with assets increasing by 88% to RUB 1.8 trillion. More than 440 thousand clients signed up for brokerage services, and more than 695 thousand brokerage accounts were opened.
A detailed description of the results of the VTB Capital Investments platform is available in the Corporate-Investment Business section.
Services for high-net-worth clients
Thanks to steady above-average growth, excellent service and a combination of the most competitive features, VTB Private Banking is the leader in the Russian private capital management market (with a market share of 30%).
Over the last three years, the portfolio of funds under management has doubled to RUB 2.7 trillion, the investment portfolio has increased fivefold to RUB 1.2 trillion, and the number of clients has doubled, exceeding 25 thousand at the end of 2020.
Amid the high degree of market volatility and against the background of decreasing interest rates for deposits in 2020, VIP clients continued the trend of investing their personal wealth. Thanks to a smart model for selling investment products, not only did the Private Banking investment portfolio increase, but so did the Bank’s flagship products, such as VTB investment bonds, VTB rouble-denominated subordinated bonds (RUB 50 billion in sales within the VIP network, which accounts for more than 80% of all sales to high-net-worth customers). This was made possible by a set of measures to improve the financial literacy and engagement of VIP clients. An investment training system was introduced in the format of online educational seminars; 11 online conferences on investment strategies were organised for VTB’s VIP clients with the participation of VTB Capital experts and invited speakers.
Taking into account the changes in the regulatory environment in Russia and foreign jurisdictions, VTB Family Office Private BankingA family office is a family welfare management model that includes monitoring the implementation of ongoing financial transactions, investing family capital, tax planning, real estate transactions, arranging the education of family members, inheritance issues and so on. launched a Tax Check-up service in 2020. The service provides a comprehensive analysis of the tax implications for the current ownership structure of assets and for the structure of the succession thereof, taking into account the new tax rules. There was also an increase in the interest on the part of VIP clients in the private equity sector in 2020, which led to the development of a unique marketplace platform for buying and selling business assets (shares in startups, commercial real estate, hotels, etc.).
Alternative investments were developed, such as the creation of a portfolio of residential and commercial real estate for the purpose of obtaining rental income and investments in gemstones that offer a stable increase in value.
In 2020, the following initiatives were implemented:
- as part of daily banking, a new optimised line of deposits was developed and introduced; the conditions for Savings Jar accounts were improved;
- a product called Perspective was launched (including deposit and investment life insurance) in cooperation with Sogaz-Life;
- a service was introduced making it possible to send 3D Secure messages to the telephone of a third party who is a debit card holder;
- the premium digital Mastercard World Elite and Visa Infinite cards were added to the Bank’s selection of card products;
- following ESG trends, a Prime eco-card was offered made of biodegradable, recyclable materials.
The development of the VIP network continued. In 2020, seven Light Network VIP zones were opened (in Blagoveshchensk, Kaliningrad, Novokuznetsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Saratov and Tomsk). On 29 December 2020, a new White City VIP office was opened in Belgorod, making it the 32nd VTB Private Banking office.
A lot of activity aimed at raising awareness helped improve business performance, increase customer loyalty and develop the VTB Private Banking brand.
According to the expert community, VTB Private Banking demonstrates a high level of service; it is a centre of professional expertise and a leader in investment decisions, and its Family Office is an advanced financial and legal ecosystem. In 2020, VTB Private Banking was named the No. 1 bank for large private capital by Forbes, and it also received the prestigious Spear’s Legendary Team award. VTB Family Office Private Banking was named the best by the 10th Moscow Forum of Family Offices. The combination of the Bank’s reliability and state participation and the promptness of its decision-making, access to international financial platforms and products offered by foreign banks (VTB international financial group’s partner infrastructure) and its individual approach to portfolio structuring allows VTB Private Banking to compete successfully for customers with an established preference profile.
The volume of funds under management of the Privilege programme (customer accounts, deposits and investment portfolios) increased to RUB 2.1 trillion (up 17%) in 2020. The investment portfolio grew at an above-average rate; its share in the volume of funds under management increased from 20% to 30%. High-net-worth customers have shown great interest in long-term capital planning tools, such as accumulative life insurance and non-state pension coverage, which are provided by the Bank’s partners: Sogaz-Life and the VTB Pension Fund.
In 2020, a referral programme for new customer acquisition was successfully launched in the Privilege segment, and a new Privilege 3.0 service package was launched. At present, holders of a Privilege package can be served at 565 VTB offices in nearly every region of the Russian Federation, including 41 dedicated offices for high-net-worth clients.
Retail Business digital products
The number of active VTB Online customers is growing steadily, increasing by 25.3% in 2020 to 10.1 million. In 2020, 59% of deposits and 56% of savings accounts were opened through VTB Online, and 25% of loans were issued through VTB Online.
In 2020, the number of payments made through VTB Online increased by 14% to 119 million. The volume of payments made through VTB Online increased by 49% to RUB 336 billion, RUB 77 billion of which was paid through a QR code. In 2020, the reading of QR codes through VTB mobile banking was qualitatively improved. The number of payments made through a QR code reached 1.5 million.
In the reporting period, the number of service providers available through VTB Online more than doubled, reaching 16.1 thousand as of 31 December 2020.
The volume of transfers increased by 77% to almost RUB 1 trillion (RUB 956 billion) for all of 2020. The total number of transfers was 139 million, an increase 72%.
Advances in transfers by telephone number and card number facilitated a 51% increase in the portfolio of active users of P2P transfers to 4.1 million people. A number of factors made this possible: the development of P2P interfaces, joining the Faster Payments System and the ability to make transfers by telephone number between holders of Visa and Mastercard bank cards. In addition, the ability to make card-to-card transfers around the world was introduced; VTB Online users are able to transfer money to Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay cards in more than 100 countries.
In total, VTB customers made 24.8 million transfers through the Faster Payments System in 2020.
In November 2019, VTB launched its own biometrics platform and began getting consent from customers for the use of biometrics and collecting voice samples from customers through the contact centre. By the end of 2020, VTB had received consent from 138 thousand customers and collected more than 38 thousand voice samples and more than 49 thousand biometric indicators in its Unified Biometrics System. The use of this technology improves customer security and reduces the risk of fraud through social computing.
In 2020, the VTB Mobile operator was extended to all retail branches of VTB Bank in Moscow and St. Petersburg, including the surrounding region, and the associated network of Vozrozhdenie Bank. To improve customer service amid the pandemic, the following measures were implemented: agreements concluded remotely and SIM cards delivered to customers, remote eSIM connection and customer support services expanded through VTB’s online chat. As a result, VTB Mobile’s subscriber base grew in 2020 from 4 thousand to 289 thousand. Subscribers talked for 500 thousand hours and used 760 thousand GB of mobile Internet.
New VTB Online launch – main event of the year
VTB launched a completely new mobile and Internet bank for individual customers.
The transition between sections became instantaneous – within 1 second. An end-to-end search function that covers the entire application was introduced; the Notifications section was updated. Now customers can sort messages by deposits, deductions and Bank offers.
VTB Online’s maximum capacity has tripled. Now the application can handle up to 130 thousand people per minute, and it will be able to handle up to 400 thousand concurrent sessions in the future. The updated application runs on a microservice architecture, which minimises the number of possible non-routine situations. At the same time, card and account balances are always available to customers (24/7); now they can be checked even during technical maintenance. Users no longer need to wait for all services to load upon login; they will immediately see the home screen with the data that was last saved.
The application has become even more secure for customers. Additional protection against social computing was introduced; control over remote access to a customer’s devices was expanded, and phishing is now detected and blocked in record time – within the first 24 hours. In addition, users can also protect access to the application: passwords can now consist of up to eight characters – instead of the previous four – and they can include both numbers and letters.
Fifty new functions have been added to VTB Online. Customers can use a QR code to withdraw money from VTB ATMs without a card. Traffic fines are now accessible, including photos and the location of the violation. If several invoices are received for payment, the customer can simply select those that need to be paid and pay them all at once. Users can view all their spending by category, create savings goals, transfer money to other VTB customers, apply for a digital credit card, and much more.
The functionality of the new VTB Online allows blind or visually impaired clients to use the application. They can independently register for VTB Online and log in to their account, and they call also use all aspects of the transfer and payment functions.
The design of the mobile bank was completely updated and made more minimalistic. Customers are now able to customise the home screen on their own: they can choose how their cards and accounts are displayed – in a list or in the familiar carousel. An important addition is the ability to hide information about one’s accounts when in a public place.
The updated version of VTB Online Internet banking offers a simplified login, which is now available by phone number and QR code.
The new web version with an updated design has more than 25 new functions, including payment of traffic fines along with the ability to view photos and the location of the violation, the batch payment of bills, the setting of limits, instant transfers to cards in more than 100 countries and an updated Bonuses section. Navigation has been greatly simplified. In particular, the sections in the top menu contain all of the most popular operations, including payments, transfers, products, services and document requests.
Customers can use the new Internet bank not only from computers or laptops; the Bank has also begun to adapt the application for smartphones and tablets. In 2021, VTB plans to adapt the entire interface for tablets and mobile browsers.
Development of VTB Online during the pandemic:
- customers with expired passports were able to receive banking services during the pandemic;
- applications for repayment holidays could be accepted through the chatbot: clients could contact the bot, which could provide advice on the service, accept documents and fill out an application;
- a function was added enabling customers to confirm their account on the State Services portal;
- a service was launched that informs VTB Online customers about ongoing city events and restrictions;
- a new notification template was developed and introduced that informs customers about the payment of state benefits.
Other key changes at VTB Online in 2020:
- chat and chatbot functions were launched;
- development continued on the functionality enabling customers to obtain documents online, including a new format for documents for civil servants (as of December 2020, the share of documents issued digitally was 52%);
- the ability to top up VTB Troika cards was introduced;
- the ability to request fund transfers was introduced;
- the ability to display the live balance of a mobile phone number was added;
- the ability to make VoIP calls to the Bank through the application was introduced;
- integration with Huawei: the VTB Online mobile application was added to the official AppGallery app store for owners of Huawei and Honor smartphones;
- a joint project with Russian Post called State Post was launched. This involves the digitalisation of the delivery of letters from government services and departments sent to citizens through Russian Post. Letters are sent to customers in PDF format through VTB Online, and online payments can be made.
Customer experience quality management
Effective management of the quality of the customer experience is one of the Bank’s priorities. According to the results of an independent study of the loyalty of retail customers, VTB Bank moved up in the ranking of leaders to 3-4 place.
To achieve this result, the customer experience quality management process was rebooted in 2020:
- the topic of customer experience is a regular part of the agenda of executives and leaders of Retail Business units. Key customer problems and solutions are studied in depth on a weekly basis. All levels of the executive and management hierarchy are involved in the work;
- a system of regular assessments of the quality of customer experience was rolled out and continues to develop. By the end of 2020, 35 touch points were regularly monitored. As part of this monitoring, tens of thousands of VTB customers had an opportunity to provide detailed feedback and to make suggestions for improvements;
- a system of key performance indicators in terms of quality was introduced for all customer service channels in the Retail Business ;
- the development of product quality standards for customers got under way. The goal is to create solutions that best meet the needs of the target audience;
- programmes are being implemented to improve the quality of customer experience management on the front line. A set of regular events is being implemented in the branch network, including the exchange of best practices between branches and other events.
Working with bad debts
Process robotisation: restarting the restructuring process
An intelligent robot voice generator is being used to help the Bank’s customers who have already faced or may face financial difficulties – a first for the market. Based on mathematical models, the Bank identifies customers who need to reduce their financial burden and calculates restructuring terms, and the robot informs the borrower about the offer and explains how to take advantage of it. The new technology provides major support for customers who need to reduce their credit exposure during the pandemic.
Some 30% of all calls to debtors and 90% of first calls are made by an intelligent robotic collector. In total, the robot replaced 130 remote collection employees, relieving them of the need to make routine calls to customers in the earliest stages of arrears. Thanks to the robot collector, the Bank was able to direct the efforts of its employees to working with the most difficult segments of clients with overdue debts, including advising clients in difficult life situations.
Intelligent control system
The creation of an Intelligent Deviation Management System was initiated in 2020; a prototype was developed, and the first reports were produced. The Intelligent Deviation Management System is a tool for managers at every level that allows them to identify, in a timely manner, deviations in the behavioural model of employees working with bad or non-core assets and to provide timely support to employees to correct deviations.
In 2020, VTB reached the finals of the European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA, London) for the first time in the Best Employer and Best Voice of the Employee Programme categories.
Working with non-core assets
In 2020, the Bank confirmed its market leadership in terms of selling non-core assets, including assets obtained through the collection of overdue debts. The Bank continued its collaboration with the Russian Agricultural Bank in providing services for the sale of non-core assets. Agreements for similar services were signed with Vozrozhdenie Bank and West Siberian Commercial Bank; work with non-core assets in the retail and small business segments is carried out in accordance with VTB standards. VTB’s portfolio of non-core retail assets decreased from RUB 5.7 billion to RUB 4.4 billion in 2020.
Development of special segments and projects
In order to ensure the growth of both the client base and the Bank’s business, an approach was adopted to working with retail clients that entailed the segmentation and customisation of products and services for certain segments.
Youth and lower mass market
In 2020, VTB expanded the availability of its deposits and loans to the mass market: young people, pensioners and customers with incomes below the national average. For example, the Bank made it possible to open an account remotely with a deposit of RUB 1,000 or more.
The Bank enabled existing clients 18 years of age or older to obtain a cash loan or a credit card on the basis of an offer from the Bank. The Youth segment has over 1.6 million active customers who regularly use VTB’s services. The requirements for minimum monthly income were reduced, the minimum loan amount was reduced to RUB 30,000, and the minimum credit card limit was reduced to RUB 5,000. The Bank also began providing loans to non-working pensioners.
Thanks to its focus on the needs of the older generation, VTB introduced a number of important changes in 2020 that have become a solid foundation for the acquisition of retirees as customers.
A description of the process involved in transferring pensions, product preferences and services for pensioners was added to the information portal on the Bank’s website.
The launch of a pension-focused service at points of sale enabled the Bank to build a continuous customer path from the issuing of a card for the receipt of a pension to the crediting of a pension to a VTB Multicard.
The higher interest accrued on the card balance made it possible to equal the terms of service offered by the main market players and to surpass some of them.
User-friendly communication using a simplified voice menu specifically for pensioners has improved the customer experience.
In 2021, the Bank is planning a breakthrough development in this segment: the introduction of a completely redesigned omnichannel customer path through which both retirees and pre-retirees can receive their pensions.
The year 2020 ushered in a transition to digital sales channels for insurance. In addition, sales of an updated line of out-of-the-box insurance products were launched at Bank branches:
- protect your home (home and property insurance);
- protect your children (insurance for children and career guidance);
- tax (help with tax deductions);
- lawyer24 (remote legal support).
In 2020, the Bank made it possible to connect accident insurance to an Opportunity credit card. Now customers do not have to worry about not being able to pay their credit card bill in case of illness or injury.
A simple and convenient way to purchase third-party liability insurance was launched for car owners. The entire process of applying for a policy takes no more than three minutes.
Public services at VTB Bank
In 2020, VTB began developing digital customer paths for using public services through banking channels:
From April to September 2020, the Bank, together with the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, made additional payments to families with children (in the amount of RUB 5,000 and RUB 10,000) in accordance with the Decrees of the President of the Russian Federation No. 249 dated 7 April 2020 and No. 317 dated 11 May 2020. In total, the Bank helped pay out RUB 13.6 billion.
Simplification of the use of family allowances
The Bank, together with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation and the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, in accordance with the amendments adopted on 1 March 2020 to Federal Law
Thanks to the launch of a new technology, customers can apply to use family allowances for this purpose at any branch of the Bank at the same time that they submit an application for a mortgage loan. In 2020, clients received RUB 2.8 billion in family allowances. In 1Q 2021, the Bank plans to ensure the provision of public services for the disposal of family allowances through mobile or Internet banking.
Payment centre for military departments
In 2020, the Bank created a new functionality for the payment of military pensions. The Bank currently provides a similar service for the Federal Bailiff Service. Once introduced, the functionality will help the Bank acquire new military pensioners as customers.
VTB office network
Plans for the development and optimisation of the network have been fully implemented, which made it possible to improve the coverage of the Bank’s regional network and also to reduce general administrative expenses for maintaining points of sale by eliminating unnecessary areas. In order to increase the coverage of the population who have access to banking services, 44 new offices were opened, 11 of which are in new cities. During 2020, 48 projects were implemented to optimise the existing network infrastructure (the reconstruction and relocation of existing offices). The Bank closed 185 inefficient offices, and carried out 43 business universalisation projects – the unification of retail and corporate segments at a single site.
As of the end of 2020, the regional network of VTB Group banks consisted of 1,476 offices in 78 regions and 490 cities in Russia:
- 657 universal offices (serving individuals and legal entities);
- 717 retail offices (serving individuals only);
- 71 corporate offices (serving legal entities only), two cash offices outside the teller network;
- 20 support offices (8 basic branches, 11 auxiliary branches and a VIP branch) and eleven cash offices outside the teller network.
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Deposits and accounts from individual VTB Bank shareholders amounted to RUB 126 billion.
VTB Group’s pension business is represented by two non-state pension funds: the VTB Pension Fund and Magnit.
The VTB Pension Fund, a fast-growing non-state pension fund in Russia and one of the leading players in the Russian market, provides a full range of services for compulsory pension insurance and non-state retirement benefits, including corporate pension programmes. The Magnit non-state pension fund is a subsidiary of the VTB Pension Fund that was acquired for the purpose of further consolidation. An action plan was approved in 2020 for the merger of two funds.
The VTB Pension Fund is a member of the National Association of Non-state Funds (NAPF) and a member of the NAPF Board. The Fund plays an active role in the work of specialised committees and commissions within the State Duma, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation and the Bank of Russia on the development of the legislative framework and regulation of the activities of non-state pension funds.
As of the end of 2020, the Bank’s pension business was managing RUB 297.6 billion in assets, up 10% from 2019. The amount of pension savings (compulsory pension insurance) totalled RUB 283.3 billion (8% growth in 2020), while the amount of pension reserves under non-state coverage totalled RUB 14.3 billion (a more than twofold increase during the year).
The Fund pursues a balanced investment policy that offers an optimal combination of high returns and maximum investment security, ensuring the preservation and accrual of customer funds. In 2020, the yield on pension savings allocated to the Fund’s customer accounts was 6.03%. Thus, the accumulated yield from 2016 through 2020 amounted to 45.21%, and the average annual yield over five years was 7.75%. The yield on pension reserves as part of the programme for non-state pensions amounted to 5.31% through a balanced investment portfolio and 4.74% through a conservative investment portfolio.
Since 2016 (over five years), the yield for participants in non-state pension programmes has increased 41.24% through investment income accrued by the VTB Pension Fund through a balanced pension portfolio and 34.13% through a conservative pension portfolio, which corresponds to average annual returns of 7.15% and 6.05%, respectively.
As of the end of the reporting period, the pension business was serving 3.0 million customers. In 2020, the VTB Pension Fund was Russia’s fifth-largest by pension assets under management.
In 2020, the Fund successfully implemented a project to promote a non-state pension product for VTB Bank’s retail and corporate clients.
During the pandemic, the VTB Pension Fund did not use the support measures offered by the Bank of Russia for non-state pension funds; it honoured all its obligations to customers in a timely manner and also developed remote services.
The Fund is working hard to introduce innovative digital technologies. In 2020, a service was introduced to help individual customers obtain a social tax credit for their personal income tax return. Integration with the State Services portal was carried out: VTB Pension Fund customers were given an opportunity to automatically complete a form for a non-state pension agreement with information obtained from customers’ profiles on the State Services portal. For individuals, a mobile application called VTB Pension Fund was launched for all operating systems: App Store, Google Play and AppGallery (the application is the first for non-state pension funds in Russia for Huawei smartphones). The application enables users to conclude a non-state pension agreement with the VTB Pension Fund, to top up their pension account without a commission from any bank card, to activate auto-payments and to generate account statements.
The Personal Account for legal entities was updated. An electronic document workflow was introduced for legal entities, enabling them to use an enhanced qualified electronic signature. A new channel was created to promote non-state pension products for representatives of small and medium-sized businesses by presenting the VTB Pension Fund on VTB Bank’s non-banking services platform (marketplace).
As part of the Bank’s efforts to increase customer loyalty, voice calls on VTB Bank’s hotline are now routed directly to the Fund. An updated loyalty programme was launched for customers taking part in non-state pension programmes: the number of programme partners increased to 90.