2.3. Key projects of mBank Group in 2014

2-3-mbank-placowkamBank branch network

Under the “One Bank” Strategy approved in 2012, mBank is implementing the One Network Project to consolidate its sales network and to better service the needs of its retail and corporate customers. Separate retail and corporate branches will be replaced by advisory competence centres while so called “light” branches will open in shopping malls. The advisory centres will be available in all cities where mBank currently operates its branches.

The first advisory centre opened on June 16, 2014 in Szczecin. In H1 2015 further centres are due to open in, among others, Gdyna, Białystok, Kielce, Piła, Tczew, Starogard Gdański. The total number of such branches will reach 89.

In 2014 mBank also opened two “light” branches, where clients are served quickly and efficiently within the basic scope, i.e. cashier service, opening an account, filing an application for a payment card, taking out a cash loan. The first “light” branches were opened in Q4 2014 in the Manufaktura shopping centre in Łódź and in the Kaskada shopping centre in Szczecin. In January 2015 a new branch in Klif shopping centre in Gdynia opened and another branch in Gdynia is planned to be opened in Q1 2015.

The newly opened mBank branches stand out from competitors thanks to modern technological solutions – interactive store front reacting to motion, innovative touch screens which present mBank’s offer in an intuitive way or interesting applications in the children zone. According to the sales network reorganisation plan, there will be 44 “light” mBank branches in Poland upon completion of the project.

The changes will be implemented gradually until the end of 2018 in line with rental contract expiry schedule.

In addition, mBank’s network will be supported by around 60 mKiosks operated by Aspiro.

2-3-mbank-aplikacjaMobile banking

A new mobile application was launched on February 19, 2014. Similar to the electronic platform the application has been built from scratch and is available on all major operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Windows 8.1) with a graphic interface emulating the online banking platform interface.

In order to meet the needs and expectations of clients with regard to the new application, the Bank had conducted a survey aimed at identifying the reasons for using mobile banking and focused on developing the most desired functionalities.

The analysis of clients’ needs showed that clients most often check the account balance (95%), make transfers (67%), monitor the transaction history (64%), place standing orders (30%) and look for the nearest ATMs (30%).

It is not necessary to log into the application to have access to the current account balance, which is a real advantage of mBank’s new mobile application. The user sets an individual PIN code and obtains access to all functions and information concerning private finances. Another unique functionality is the fast and easy payment method, even if the counterparty’s account number is not known, a transfer may be made by choosing the recipient’s phone number in the application.

The key solutions offered by mBank’s mobile application are the following:

  • Poland’s fastest mobile loans within 30 seconds;
  • P2P payments via a text message using the phone’s address book;
  • elements of financial management (PFM): possibility of categorising expenses;
  • security thanks to device “pairing” and a unique PIN;
  • access to key information and offers without logging in;
  • mobile mOkazje and geolocation of discounts, branches and ATMs;
  • option of PUSH notifications: new operations, account events, mOkazje nearby;
  • possibility of changing transaction limits.

 

In mid-December 2014 mBank launched the new mobile application for clients of its foreign branches in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

mBank’s mobile banking had 892 thousand users at the end of 2014 (the number includes users of light websites as well as mobile applications on all platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone).

For more information on mBank’s mobile application, please see section 1.6. Mobile application – mBank’s approach and summary of activities in 2014.

Forrester: mBank's banking in the top international league

Forrester Research, a global research and advisory firm, has analysed services offered by banks in order to find the most innovative solutions. mBank has proven to be beyond competition, taking the first place in the category of online banking in Europe and coming at the forefront among the best mobile banking solutions in the world.

The Forrester analysts scrutinised online banking services of ten big retail banks and compared them in terms of 9 categories: account management, money transfers, money management, security and login, cross-selling, self-service features, assisted service features, alerts and eDelivery. On the basis of these findings online banking of mBank was recognised as the best in Europe, winning in five of the categories mentioned above.

Functionalities of the service that obtained the best score from Forrester:

  • money transfer: mBank enables users to make payments by means of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and Facebook IDs;
  • account management: mBank became a leader in this area thanks to the speed and user-friendliness of its e-banking service, the possibility of customising the user's interface, transparent visualisations of account balance and advanced search options in the transaction history;
  • money management: the authors of the report are of the opinion that convenient cash management is the key element of digital banking. mBank is the leader in this area since it is able to combine the categorisation of expenditures with the transaction history and enables users to check their current balance by means of only one click;
  • cross-selling: mBank overtook the competition thanks to its special section dedicated to its offers, the possibility to decide which ones are to be used within the transaction history and the mDeals application on Facebook;
  • assisted service features: the research evaluated how easy it is to obtain support of a bank consultant in transactional service. mBank proved to be the best thanks to its video banking (the Online expert service).

mBank reached the podium in two other reports on mobile banking prepared by Forrester as well - in both international and European editions - coming third and overtaking as many as 30 other banks in the global ranking.

Among the major strengths of the mBank’s banking application the authors of the report named a wide range of functions offered (e.g. the possibility of opening deposits), security as well as convenience of registration and logging into mBank applications. On the other hand, the tools aiming at cash management and mDeals (mOkazje), which is the first and currently one of the very few solutions of this kind in terms of personalized sale on the European market, were deemed by Forrester to be the benchmark for the entire market.

mBank was one out of two financial institutions from Poland whose offers were analysed by Forrester and the only one which reached the podium in the rankings.

EMTN Programme

In 2012, mFinance France (former BRE Finance France) as issuer and the Bank as underwriter signed a EUR 2 billion EMTN (Euro Medium Term Notes) Programme agreement. In March 2014, the EMTN Programme Prospectus was updated and the Programme amount was raised to EUR 3 billion. The purpose of the Programme is to enable the Bank to issue debt securities in multiple tranches and currencies with a different interest structure.

The EMTN Programme was rated “A” by Fitch Ratings and “BBB+” by Standard and Poor’s Rating Services.

The first Eurobond issue with a nominal value of EUR 500 million was carried out in October 2012, another two Eurobond issues with nominal values of CHF 200 million and CZK 500 million respectively, took place in Q4 2013.

In 2014 mFinance France issued another two tranches of Eurobonds:

  • On March 24, 2014 - issue of Eurobonds with a nominal value of EUR 500 million and maturity in 2019. Interest on the Eurobonds was 2.375% per annum.
  • On November 21, 2014 - issue of Eurobonds with a nominal value of EUR 500 million and maturity in 2021. Interest on the Eurobonds was 2.0% per annum.

Both Eurobond tranches received ratings from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services compliant with the rating of the EMTN programme and the long-term rating of mBank.

The figures below present the geographic allocation and investor groups of the euro notes issued in 2014.

Summary of EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured Eurobonds issue in March 2014

 

Summary of EUR 500 million 7-year unsecured Eurobonds issue in November 2014

 

Issue of covered bonds by mBank Hipoteczny

In 2014, 8 issues of mortgage bonds were carried out:

 

 

Volume

Currency

Date of issue

Maturity

Tenor
(in years)

Coupon

7,5 M

EUR

17.02.2014

15.02.2018

4.0

EURIBOR 6M + 80pb

8,0 M

EUR

28.02.2014

28.02.2029

15.0

Fixed (3,50%)

15,0 M

EUR

17.03.2014

15.03.2029

15.0

Fixed (3,50%)

20,0 M

EUR

30.05.2014

30.05.2029

15.0

Fixed (3,20%)

300,0 M

PLN

28.07.2014

28.07.2022

8.0

WIBOR 6M + 93pb

200,0 M

PLN

04.08.2014

20.02.2023

8.5

WIBOR 6M + 93pb

20,0 M

EUR

22.10.2014

22.10.2018

4.0

Fixed (1,115%)

50,0 M

EUR

28.11.2014

15.10.2019

4.9

EURIBOR 3M + 87pb

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The value of covered bonds issued in 2014 exceeded PLN 1 billion. For more information on covered bond issues by mBank Hipoteczny see chapter 6. mBank Group capital and funding.

Strategic alliance with Orange

2-3-logo-orange-finanse2-3-orange-aplikacjaOn March 22, 2014, mBank established a strategic alliance with Poland’s leading telecom operator Orange Polska S.A. Its foremost goal is to provide modern and convenient financial services targeting clients who value easy access and convenient personal finance management regardless where they are. The Bank’s new offer available through the Orange network targets existing and prospective clients of Orange including individuals and SMEs. The main objective is to deliver a comprehensive spectrum of financial products which would be available with the use of mobile devices and an Internet platform.

Teams from both organisations have been working since the signing of the agreement to develop a competitive and appealing offer.

The joint-venture of mBank, the best transactional and mobile bank, and Orange, Poland’s leading landline telephone, Internet and data transfer provider, called Orange Finance, was launched on October 2, 2014. Orange Finance sets new trends in electronic banking whereby the strengths of the Bank are combined with the know-how and technology of a global telecom operator in a rapidly evolving market for financial services. As part of the joint-venture, mBank provides banking solutions (such as a banking licence, a modern mobile and Internet banking platform and banking know-how), whereas Orange is in charge of marketing and sales.



 

 

2.3.banking-products

One of the innovative features of Orange Finance is the possibility of using banking products only via a mobile application dedicated for Android and iOS. Clients do not need to sign any documents. Verification of client data is performed with the use of a transfer from a user’s account with other bank. The application enables users to top up prepaid mobile phones and make transfers without entering the recipient's bank account number - it is enough to select his/her phone number from the smartphone's contact list or enter his/her Facebook username.

Banking products delivered by mBank are also available in the transaction service at www.OrangeFinanse.com and in ca. 900 Orange stores. The Internet transaction service supplementing the mobile application offers features such as an intelligent account history search tool, making it possible to find a phrase after entering just three letters, and a budget planner facilitating management of household finances.

2-3-logo-mbank-axaCo-operation with AXA Group

On September 11, 2014, mBank’s subsidiary Aspiro, the shareholder of BRE Ubezpieczenia Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń i Reasekuracji (BRE Ubezpieczenia TUiR), signed an agreement with AXA Group to sell 100% of BRE Ubezpieczenia TUiR.

According to the sale agreement, the sale of 100% of BRE Ubezpieczenia TUiR is subject to a number of conditions precedent including:

  • approval of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), and
  • no objection of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF).

2.3.axa

One of the conditions precedent was met on November 13, 2014 - the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection issued his approval for the acquisition of BRE Ubezpieczenia TUiR by Avanssur (AXA Group).

After the fulfilment of the conditions precedent, agreements will be signed as part of the transaction to govern the long-term co-operation between the Bank and AXA Group companies concerning distribution of life and non-life insurance products. The term of the distribution agreements will be no less than 10 years.

The total amount of payments to mBank Group on account of the said agreements with AXA Group entities will be c. PLN 570 million. Moreover, the Bank and Aspiro are entitled to an additional earn-out consideration subject to achieving certain targets of life insurance products sales.

The cooperation with AXA Group will be reflected in the expansion of the product mix and improving the quality of services for mBank Group’s clients, who will have access to the most innovative insurance products offered via both electronic and mobile platforms, as well as traditional branches. For the Bank, the strategic alliance with AXA is yet another step towards the full utilization of the potential of the mBank’s Internet and mobile platforms.