9.1. Retail Banking in Poland

Retail Banking (including Private Banking) in Poland in 2014

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41 thousand Orange Finance accounts

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mBank as a no. 1 brand in acquisition

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2014 – SME’s year

In 2014, the efforts in the Retail Banking segment were in large part focused on a better understanding of clients’ needs. Such an approach to building customer relationships produced tangible results, including client acquisition which increased by 6.3% year on year in net terms.

In 2014, the Bank pursued its growth strategy in the segment of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). SME clients were offered finance programmes using investment loans guaranteed by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK). Their volume at PLN 239 million demonstrates the success of the instrument, developed in order to support entrepreneurship in Poland. This performance ranked the Bank as Poland’s second largest provider of loans with BGK guarantees. Finally, more than 40 thousand SMEs brought their business to mBank in 2014.

To address clients’ needs, the Bank implemented new solutions and effectively used existing solutions. One of such initiatives was to expand clients’ financing options through “Leasing in Retail” which targets corporate clients who can enter into leasing contracts for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. The project operated together with mLeasing helped to triple the value of leasing contracts year on year.

Another revolutionary tool is the FX Platform (mPlatforma walutowa) launched in September 2014. The FX Platform largely improved the currency exchange options for SMEs. Within four months of the launch, more than 2.8 thousand companies moved their currency transactions to mBank. The product demonstrates that mBank’s values (functionality, convenience, mobility) can also address more advanced banking needs. This was corroborated by the appreciation of the industry: the World’s Best Foreign Exchange Banks and Providers 2015 award.

Intensive efforts to build long-term relationships with retail clients were acknowledged with numerous awards for the Bank. Among others, mBank was awarded by Forbes and named the Most Friendly Corporate Bank in Poland.

In 2014, mBank’s Retail Banking put in place a strategic project of co-operation with Orange, one of the biggest telecom operators in Poland, to develop the Orange Finance product offer launched on October 2, 2014. With the state-of-the-art products tailored to the needs of the Bank’s clients and Orange Polska users, more than 41 thousand individual accounts were opened with Orange Finance in 2014. The number of new accounts continues to grow month by month, and the development of the offer planned in the coming months will make it even more unique on the market, opening access to an attractive group of customers who use innovative online and mobile solutions.

In 2014, mBank Group announced a long term cooperation with AXA Group by signing on September 11 a contract of sale of 100% BRE Ubezpieczenia Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń i Reasekuracji shares. Upon fulfillment of the condition precedents in the form of approval of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) and the absence of objection of Polish Financial Supervision Authority (mBank Group got OCCP’s approval on November 13, 2014), AXA Group will receive exclusive rights to distribute life and non-life insurance products to mBank customers. For mBank Group it is another step towards modernization of its offer due to the ability to distribute innovative products through its branches, as well as the electronic and mobile platforms. For more information about the cooperation with AXA Group please see section 2.3. Key projects of mBank Group in 2014.

In 2014, mBank opened 255.7 thousand new accounts, an increase of 8.2% year on year. From August 2014, monthly sales were in excess of 20 thousand accounts. In addition, according to a Bankier.pl ranking, the mBank brand is the first market player in customer acquisition in 2014 with a strong lead over its immediate peers. The Bank owes this performance mainly to the New mBank project: an innovative transactional service, changes to the branch network, and the new mobile banking application launched in 2014.

 

Source: PRNews.pl/Bankier.pl

The sales of credit cards also increased year on year in 2014. The number of active mBank credit cards grew as well in 2014.

Development of the retail banking offer in Poland

Loans

The loan portfolio structure of Retail Banking in Poland (household loans) at the end of December 2014 was as follows:

 

mBank’s activities in the sales of non-mortgage loans were focused on personalised credit offers for selected clients. Owing to implemented improvements, the timing of a credit decision over electronic channels was cut from 15 minutes to 30 seconds without the need to complete any forms or file documents. The implementation was awarded in the global Efma ranking where the 30 second mobile loan was named the Most Promising Idea.

mBank also implemented a number of modifications in the offer for clients, ranging from financing of online shopping at Allegro.pl (“0% PayU Instalments”) through Miles and More credit card promotions to revolving loans “0% for Starters”.

The sales of non-mortgage loans increased by 13.6% year on year to PLN 3,998.7 million in 2014.

The sales of credit cards also increased year on year in 2014. The number of active mBank credit cards grew as well in 2014, which is particularly important in view of the falling interchange fees.

Starting in February 2014, mBank in co-operation with the Aspiro network promoted consolidation loans with the “Guarantee of the Lowest Instalment”, which were well received by clients; as a result, sales through Aspiro doubled.

In early May 2014, mBank launched a new type of loan, mRaty, for online shopping and other e-services. mRaty is an instalment loan dedicated to the online purchase of any product or service up to PLN 20 thousand. In June 2014, the product was launched for clients of the biggest auction platform Allegro.pl, supported by one of the fast payment operators PayU. In November and December 2014, in co-operation with Allegro.pl and PayU, the Bank launched the “0% PayU Instalments” promotion; combined with a marketing campaign on Allegro, it grew the sales of mBank’s mRaty by a factor of 5 and attracted 7 thousand new clients.

An important development from the perspective of mBank’s strategy came in Q4 2014 when the Lombard rate was cut to 3.0%, resulting in a reduction of the maximum interest rate on loans from 16% to 12%. In response to the significant change of market conditions, mBank implemented modifications to credit fees and commissions which largely offset the adverse financial impact.

Furthermore, in 2014, mBank in co-operation with mBank Hipoteczny pursued a long-term project designed to issue covered bonds secured with liabilities under mortgage loans. In the project, mBank Hipoteczny grants loans to individuals through mBank. Another part of the project put in place in 2014 was a transfer of a loan portfolio of PLN 338 million from mBank to mBank Hipoteczny. The transfer will allow for increased issues of covered bonds secured with the transferred loans by mBH. The loan transfer process will continue in 2015.

The sales of mortgage loans in 2014 stood at PLN 2,421.4 million, which represents an increase of 71.2% year on year.

The key characteristic of portfolio of mortgage loans for individuals (excluding Private Banking clients) is summarised below:

 

 

 

31.12.2013

31.12.2014

Balance sheet value (mld zł)

26.5

27.6

Average maturity (years)

20.8

20.3

Average value (thousand PLN)

273.4

275.4

Average LTV (%)

78.4%

80.7%

NPL (%)*

4.4%

5.0%

* The NPL ratio calculated in accordance with a more strict client perspective methodology; data based on internal management system.

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In 2014, mBank also developed sales of car loans for individuals and small companies. The Bank grants loans in co-operation with the BMW brand as well as Jaguar/Land Rover.

Deposits and investment funds

The strong results of the sales of savings products were possible thanks to a number of initiatives taken including focused management of the product offer, smart pricing of deposits targeting selected client segments, as well as a new behavioural segmentation of clients. The balances of deposit products increased while the financial discipline was maintained. As an additional measure of success, the growth rate of deposit balances was much stronger than the market average (35% higher).

While the retail deposit base grew, so did the balances of assets allocated by clients to investment funds. In H1 2014, the Bank focused on offering investment products to clients, mainly through the Investment Fund Supermarket in its new version launched early in the year. The new platform allows clients not only to make transactions in shares of domestic and international investment funds but also to access additional tools which facilitate browsing through funds as well as monitoring and analysing of clients’ investments in funds.

In addition to the functional development of the Investment Fund Supermarket, mBank’s offer of investment funds was extended in 2014 as 11 new funds and a new investment fund company, Altus TFI, were added to those on offer.

Changes in the pension savings system boosted additional interest in pension savings products. In response to clients’ needs, a new transactional service for Individual Pension Accounts was launched in H2 2014. It facilitates the monitoring of investment performance and allows clients to check the outstanding amount of the annual investment limit.

In H2 2014, due to unfavourable conditions on the Polish capital market, the Bank focused mainly on working with clients on deposit and savings products. As a result of these activities, amid increasing number of clients with savings, the balance of deposits with the Bank increased substantially.

In 2014, the Bank continued to pursue the strategy of strengthening its position in investments and savings, and diversified the solutions offered to clients, including in particular:

  • launch of a new version of the Investment Fund Supermarket;
    • launch of new functionalities of the Bank’s transactional system for Individual Pension Accounts;
    • implementation of a term deposit promotion to attract new clients and new assets;
    • implementation of deposits for new cash into the Bank’s regular offer;
    • implementation of several subscriptions for investment certificates of Closed-end Investment Funds;
    • implementation of the Bank’s first subscriptions for structured certificates;
    • offering clients the option of investing in subsequent subscriptions for structured deposits;
    • launch of a public offer of bonds for retail clients.

Cards

In 2014, the value of transactions made by mBank retail banking clients with payment cards was more than PLN 17.6 billion and was record-high, growing by 18.5% year on year. As the frequency of use of cards by mBank clients increased by some 30% year on year in combination with smaller amount of payments, mBank’s market share in non-cash transactions increased to 12.2% (after 9 months of 2014), from 12.0% in 2013. mBank’s credit cards are used to make a very high average number of transactions, which is more than double the market average.

In 2014, most of the initiatives in the credit card segment focused on growing the number of transactions and active use of credit, mainly following yet another reduction of the interchange fee in July 2014 and a significant reduction of the interest rates in October 2014. As part of these initiatives, measures were taken to promote the Repayment by Instalment Service and the Fast Cash service using the card limit; as a result, the value of credit card limits paid by instalment increased by a factor of 8.

In the implementation of its payment development strategy, mBank implemented new payment instruments:

  • BLIK mobile payments for all users of mBank’s mobile application;
  • Orange NFC mobile payments for users of Orange smartphones with NFC functionalities;
  • MC PayPass sticker for touchless payments using a mobile phone without NFC functionalities.

In addition, since Q4 2014, mBank is the only bank in Poland to offer Miles and More credit cards whose holders collect miles for non-cash transactions. In the last months of 2014, mBank engaged in a number of marketing initiatives to grow the acquisition of such cards.

Furthermore, the migration of debit cards to touchless technology was completed in 2014: most of mBank’s payment cards allow users to make quick touchless payments and nearly 80% of POS (point of sale) terminals on the market support the technology.