CORPORATE BANKING

The Bank continues to improve its performance by offering a wide range of cutting-edge banking services to small, medium and large-sized enterprises, taking into account each customer group’s particular requirements and interests.

To date, Bank Saint Petersburg has 50 000 corporate customers. The Bank’s corporate banking business remains primarily focused on the regional market of St. Petersburg. In addition, the Bank strengthened its positions in Kaliningrad in 2015 through the creation of its Evropeisky Branch, which currently has over 9 000 corporate customers (Bank Saint Petersburg completed the integration of Bank Evropeisky in Kaliningrad, reorganizing it together with the Bank’s Kaliningrad Branch into the new Evropeisky Branch). In 2016, Bank Saint Petersburg strengthened its presence outside the domestic Northwestern region: The Bank opened a representative office targeted at corporate customers in Novosibirsk. Since December 2019 Nevsky Branch started carrying out banking operations and providing a full range of banking services to its individual and corporate customers instead of a representative office.

In 2020, the Bank continued its expansion across Russia by opening two new representative offices in Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar. Bank Saint Petersburg is ready to offer its unique know-hows in the field of small and medium-sized business support in its new regions of presence. Bank Saint Petersburg currently offers companies in the South of Russia a wide range of traditional banking tools for lending, bank guarantees, services and support for international business transactions, and many other services, along with customized solutions geared to particular business needs of companies in different sectors.

In the Rostov Region, we are already cooperating successfully with large enterprises in different industries, with a special focus on mechanical engineering, road construction, agricultural industry, including support to agricultural exporters. The Bank’s representative office in Krasnodar has ambitious goals, too. The main focus of Bank Saint Petersburg’s activities in the South of Russia is to support large and medium-sized businesses in the following sectors: mechanical engineering, road construction, agriculture, food industry, chemicals, etc.

In St. Petersburg, six sectoral departments provide services to large and medium businesses. Specialization of employees in companies of particular sectors allows to develop and maintain a high level of sectoral expertise, understand business specifics of customer service, and tailor products to customer needs.

Loans to legal entities represent 74.9% of the total loan portfolio. The breakdown of the Bank’s corporate portfolio by sector reflects St. Petersburg’s economic structure, which has a high proportion of construction, real estate, trade and production, allowing the Bank to benefit from all the advantages of the region’s economic structure, as well as to contribute to its development.

SETTLEMENT BUSINESS

Bank Saint Petersburg strives to become the leading settlement bank for residents and enterprises in St. Petersburg engaged in payments and settlements with customers and suppliers.

The Bank issues Visa Business and MasterCard Business corporate cards to be used by company employees to cover their travel expenses and current expenses related to the company’s operations. Payments for products and services can also be made online. A corporate card is a universal and safe tool for accessing company funds round-the-clock without the need to visit the Bank’s office: payments for goods and services are carried out by one touch thanks to modern payment services; cash deposits can be made and withdrawn 24/7/365 through the wide network of ATMs. All corporate cards issued by Bank Saint Petersburg support the cutting-edge mobile payment technology offered by Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. Moreover, customers may open a corporate card account and order their first card via Internet Bank i2B.

In 2020, Bank Saint Petersburg offered its clients new online cash registers with a built-in acquiring function. The device integrates an online cash register, a bank card terminal, and easy-to-use cash register software. Thus, clients do not have to buy both a cash register and a card terminal. Bank Saint Petersburg offers, in cooperation with its partner Payment Technologies LLC, the registration of A930 online cash registers on a turnkey basis, including registration with a fiscal data operator and a tax inspectorate and buying a fiscal memory device.

In 3Q 2020, the Bank launched the Mass Payment service to maintain the loyalty of customers with payroll projects distributed between several credit institutions, for example, where some of their employees are not based in the regions of the Bank’s presence.

Mass Payment is an innovative service offering a number of advantages: a single register for several banks; no need for generating an additional transfer order; an ability to remotely track the payment status in the register; fees charged as a lump sum for completed transfers only.

The service has helped to significantly reduce labor inputs for the generation and signing of individual transfer orders and received positive customer feedback.

Given the current economic and geopolitical situation, one of the priorities is to make sure that customers can enjoy smooth payments in the main foreign currencies, such as US dollar, euro, pound sterling, Chinese yuan, Swiss franc, and some others. The Bank has reserve correspondent accounts in US dollars and euros with several foreign banks. The Bank has correspondent relationships with high-profile financial institutions and large clearing centers, such as JP Morgan Bank N.A., New York (including their London and Tokyo branches); The Bank of New York Mellon; Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Austria; Commerzbank AG, Germany; the Bank of China; Credit Suisse, Switzerland; Société Générale, France; etc.

In 2020, the Bank’s correspondent network was expanded to include an account with a major European clearing and depositary center EUROCLEAR BANK SA/NV, indicating a high level of trust from our foreign partners.

The Bank was included in the list of banks that are entitled to open procurement participant accounts according to 44-FZ. Since September 2018, the Bank’s customers can open such accounts in Internet Bank i2B as well as at the Bank’s office. Nowadays, the Bank services over 2 500 customers participating in government procurement.

The Bank values the time of its corporate clients and expands its business hours. From February 1, 2020 onwards, our clients can make the Russian ruble payments within the Bank via the i2B online banking portal from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily, including weekends.

The Bank provides a wide range of banking services connected with cash transactions in the regional markets of both St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, including receipt collection, payments, foreign exchange, cash re-counting, the delivery of cash wages to customers, and loading ATMs and payment kiosks.

The year 2020 was dominated by the need to preserve and support businesses in the context of the pandemic and optimize performance in the new environment while maintaining a high level of customer service. The Bank performed 125 500 cash collection visits, of which 91 500 were directly to our customers, 23 200 were to maintain and replenish cash in the Bank’s ATMs, and 10 800 visits were made to support the Bank’s own divisions. In 2020, the Bank transported and processed RUB 470.7 bn in cash.

CORPORATE LENDING

To reach its strategic goals, Bank Saint Petersburg is striving to create a product range that matches the interests of its corporate customers as much as possible. Despite the challenging macroeconomic situation, the Bank continues to provide corporate lending to companies from various industry sectors and is strengthening its positions in this market segment. In addition to granting new loans, the Bank is also improving the terms of already existing loans, which indicates general financial sector recovery.

In 2020, the Bank and Megalit – Okhta Group LLC entered into a credit facility agreement to raise project finance for the construction of phases 2 and 3 of the Primorsky Kvartal residential facility in St. Petersburg. The credit limit under the facility is up to RUB 2 bn.

The Bank and Construction Trust Group of Companies (with ST-Novoselye Specialized Developer LLC acting as the developer) have entered into credit facility agreements with respect to project finance for the construction of two apartment buildings as part of the NEWPITER project. The term of the facilities worth RUB 1.2 bn and RUB 700 mln, respectively, is two years.

Also, in 2020, the Bank issued a EUR 56.9 mln loan to Adamant JSC to finance their current operations. Adamant is one of Russia’s major diversified holding companies, the leader of the street retail real estate market in St. Petersburg, and the actual creator of the modern shopping and entertainment complex industry in the region. The holding combines dozens of production and construction companies, trade, medical, advertising businesses, hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises in different areas of business.

In 2020, the Bank’s Moscow Branch continued to work vigorously and was able to considerably increase its loan portfolio, from RUB 89 bn to RUB 137 bn.

In 2020, the Bank’s Moscow Branch and Avtomir Group of Companies entered into a cooperation agreement which provides for the Bank to open a RUB 2 bn credit facility to finance the borrower’s working capital to provide financing for a dealer network in cities across Russia. In addition, the Bank and Avtomir Group of Companies agreed to cooperate in developing retail lease and car lending businesses. In particular, in 1Q 2020, the Bank plans to expand its car lending program at Avtomir’s car dealerships.

Also, in 2020, the Bank’s Moscow Branch supported one of the largest general contractor businesses in the Moscow Region by granting In-Situ Concrete Construction Directorate-1 JSC a guarantee limit of RUB 1 bn for participation in tenders and contractual performance.

During 2020, the Bank significantly extended its partnership with Aeroflot PJSC by entering into an agreement on general terms and standby letters of credit procedures with a total financing limit of up to EUR 70 mln. It is not the first product provided by the Bank to the country’s largest air company. For example, the master agreements on general terms of loan transactions for a total of EUR 70 mln to finance working capital and general corporate needs were made in the summer of 2020.

The Bank’s Moscow Branch and State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK) entered into a cooperation agreement according to which the Bank will open a RUB 10 bn line of credit for 35 months. The loan funds will be, in particular, available to finance the company’s current operations in the Russian Federation, as well as its international business.

The Bank’s Moscow Branch and pharmaceutical distributor “FC Grand Capital” entered into a cooperation agreement. Under this agreement, Bank Saint Petersburg shall provide financing of RUB 1 bn. The purpose of the loan is to finance the company’s current operations aimed at developing the Russian pharmaceuticals market.

In 2020, the Bank partnered with Russia’s major sports construction company when its Moscow Branch and Magnum Group of Companies engaged in construction and outfitting of sports facilities in Russia entered into a cooperation agreement. According to the agreement, Bank Saint Petersburg will open lines of credit and issue bank guarantees. Since 1995, Magnum has been professionally engaged in the comprehensive implementation of sports construction projects, from front-end engineering design to commissioning of completed sports facilities outfitted with all necessary equipment. Over this period, they have implemented more than 1 000 sports construction projects across Russia, from outdoor sports grounds to sports complexes and stadiums hosting world-level competitions.

In 2020, the Bank entered into cooperation with PIR Group of Companies, a leader in manufacturing of packaged cheese and distribution logistics of cheese and dairy products in Russia. A RUB 750 mln facility was provided to finance working capital of the Group’s companies.

The Bank’s Moscow Branch financed a major distributor of frozen fish products Agama Group under a RUB 500 mln facility agreement to finance the company’s working capital.

Our regional branches and representative offices were also successful in completing a number of large transactions in 2020, which demonstrated a high level of customer focus and deep expertise across a wide range of sectors.

The Kaliningrad-based European Branch, who has been a long-term partner with Russia’s leading ship repair company PREGOL Shiprepair Yard, granted them a EUR 2.5 mln line of credit within a short time frame. The loan will be used to buy a floating ship repair dock, an industrial vessel intended for ship repair (or transportation).

The Bank’s Novosibirsk Branch financed the Altai Railcar Building Plant (“Altaivagon” JSC), Russia’s major railway car manufacturer, by providing a RUB 2 bn facility. The purpose is to support production at one of the largest enterprises in the Altai Region as part of the government support program for backbone enterprises in the period of the pandemic.

The Bank supported AP Trade, an official distributor of Procter & Gamble, by extending a RUB 950 mln loan via its Branch in Novosibirsk. The lending purpose is to finance working capital. The Bank is willing to provide the company with all necessary banking tools and services for successful development of its operations involving distribution of high-quality consumer goods in the Siberian Federal District.

2020 saw the first loan issued to a client at the Bank’s representative office in Rostov-on-Don. The first borrower is Megapolis Group who has been successfully operating in the South of Russia since 1993. The agreement sets the overall credit limit of RUB 220 mln for the Group’s fuel companies Etalon MK LLC and Brizan LLC.

The Bank continues to actively participate in project financing of construction by implementing escrow projects.

In 2020 the Bank continued its long-term efficient collaboration with LSR Group PJSC. As a part of “General agreement on common lending terms” in the total amount of RUB 16 bn for three following years, loans are given for operational, financial and investment operations of the construction holding.

The Bank provided project financing for Setl Group’s first escrow project Solnechny Gorod. Rezidentsii residential facility by entering into credit facility agreements to fund the construction of the project’s two first phases, with the credit limits totaling RUB 2.3 bn.

In 2020, the Bank provided project financing to Terminal Resource Specialized Developer LLC for a low-rise residential construction project in Pushkinsky District of St. Petersburg. Payments between the developer and buyers of dwelling units will use escrow accounts. The financing limit granted by the Bank for the project totals RUB 1.1 bn.

In 2020, the Bank carried out its first online registration of a mortgage loan contract for a legal entity. The Bank and Geoline LLC entered into an agreement for a working capital loan secured by real estate. A loan of RUB 12 mln was made available for 12 months. A package of documents was certified with an electronic digital signature issued to the client by the Bank’s certification authority. Upon the submission of the complete package via the online service of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography of the Russian Federation (Rosreestr), the registration process took three business days.

In 2020, Bank Saint Petersburg also contributed to the development of car sharing in Russia by supporting X-Leasing in its finance lease transaction to transfer 1 000 Nissan Qashqai cars to Russia’s leading car sharing service YouDrivе. Since the end of 2019, a total of 1 500 Nissan Qashqai cars have been leased out to YouDrivе to develop car sharing in Russia.

RISK HEDGING

One of the priorities in Bank Saint Petersburg’s operations is the creation of effective solutions allowing customers to competently manage currency, commodity, and interest risks while maintaining and increasing the profitability of their business.

The Bank is actively establishing a relevant product line for corporate customers, including tools for hedging market risks, creating additional opportunities for increasing profits, and managing liquidity.

In the interests of customers, strategies based on an individual approach and thorough analysis of business specifics are constantly being developed for various market segments. They allow the Bank’s customers to choose a solution that meets their expectations.

The level of service and awareness of products increases regularly. In terms of the quality of services and price parameters, the Bank competes with the world’s largest investment and brokerage companies.

Highlights of 2020:

  • following the interest rate swaps on RUB MosPrime and USD LIBOR, the Bank has for the first time entered into an interest rate swap transaction on the key rate of the Central Bank of Russia to hedge the interest rate risk of its corporate client;
  • the Bank has executed its first ever interest rate cap transaction on the MosPrime Rate. Interest rate cap (or interest rate option) is an effective tool for managing interest rate risks for clients raising debt funding for one year or longer. The tool is used to hedge loans against interest rate going up. It is simple and quick to execute;
  • the Bank has entered into its first-ever interest rate corridor transaction with a corporate client. The interest rate corridor is a modern hedging instrument for companies that run their business using borrowings. The product allows clients to manage their interest rate risks with minimum expenses on hedging while raising the attractiveness of loan transactions for the Bank by increasing ROE and profit margins in the client’s budget.

In addition, the Bank continues to develop a product line of interest rate derivatives for corporate clients who, once embedded in the credit process, allow to reduce the interest rate to the Borrower without lowering the interest margin or to increase the profitability of the loan transaction, as well as to neutralize currency and trade risks for the company.

DEPOSIT PRODUCTS

One of the strategic priorities of the Bank’s deposit business is to gradually transfer the conclusion of deposit agreements to digital channels. This substantially reduces the workload of branch network employees who will be able to focus instead on individually tailored deposits and devote more time to other products for corporate customers. Around 99% of deposits in the standard range are already placed through Internet Bank i2B.

In 2020, the Bank launched a new deposit product for legal entities and individual entrepreneurs. The Universal deposit allows our customers to earn by depositing their temporarily idle funds and secure themselves against an unpredictable decrease in the flow of payments.

PROGRAMS TARGETED AT SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

Loans to small and medium enterprises are strategically important for Bank Saint Petersburg and allow SMEs to finance their working capital, purchase equipment, vehicles, real estate, and other property required to develop their business, as well as to start new lines of business.

To grant financing to small and medium-sized businesses on preferential terms, the Bank actively interacts with specialized organizations within the framework of state support programs. The Bank’s Program for Stimulating Lending to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (Program 6.5) includes loans for small and medium-sized businesses at good rates of up to 8.5% per annum. Another program implemented by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation in accordance with Decree of the Government No. 1764 dated December 30, 2018 is Program 8.5 which enables SMEs engaged in the priority sectors of the Russian economy to borrow at a rate not exceeding the key rate of the Bank of Russia plus 2.75% per annum.

In 2020, the Bank’s customers were able to enjoy the benefits of the Leasing Premium Program run in cooperation with our partner X-Leasing. In this program, the Bank determines and preapproves for a client a credit limit that can be used to purchase vehicles and special equipment without further documents, collateral and guarantors at a better rate. The leasing transaction can involve purchasing either new or used (for up to three years) movable property, such as cars, trucks, trailers, semi-trailers, special vehicles, buses, and light commercial vehicles. The customer’s leasing application is processed within two hours.

In the beginning of 2020, the Bank issued its first preapproved loans to legal entities and individual entrepreneurs. In total, in 2020, preapproved lending programs involved 492 agreements worth more than RUB 1.5 bn.

The Bank’s preapproved loans for small and medium-sized businesses were recognized as the best in the Quick Solutions for Business category of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s competition.

The Bank’s loan portfolio under lending programs targeted at SMEs (including those supported by government measures for the period of the pandemic) increased 2.4 times in 2020.

As for supporting its SME customers, it was not just a set of measures but entire ecosystem #ICAN_BUSINESS_ONLINE that the Bank launched during the coronavirus pandemic. It accommodates financial services that are particularly relevant when the Bank’s dealings with clients are remote.

The #ICAN_BUSINESS_ONLINE ecosystem enables our corporate customers to do the following without visiting the Bank:

  • make payments quickly and securely;
  • receive bank statements by email;
  • check their business partners using our Svetofor service;
  • monitor the account activity and balance changes;
  • convert foreign currencies using a quotation board;
  • place a deposit;
  • submit a loan application;
  • use our international business services;
  • issue a qualified electronic signature in a matter of minutes;
  • connect to acquiring services;
  • and many more.

The Bank’s digital platform for SMEs involving Internet Bank i2B and the BSPB Business mobile app draws on the market’s best practices and know-hows. It is an open digital platform convenient for daily financial transactions in real time without visiting the bank office.

The high quality of our digital solutions for small and medium-sized businesses was highly rated by independent experts. In 2020, the Bank ranked among the top 20 leading banks in the CIS and the Caucasus region offering the best digital ecosystems for SMEs according to the SME Banking Club’s Banking Ecosystems for SMEs 2020 study. The rating research encompassed services for legal entities and individual entrepreneurs offered by 212 banks in 11 countries of the study region (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine).

SME Banking Club’s experts rated the banks in terms of convenience and comprehensiveness of functionality of their web and mobile applications taking into account customers’ needs, the extent of innovation, and contribution to the improvement of remote banking services during the pandemic. Services of the same type were grouped to get 34 unique services offered by banks to their customers on an ecosystem basis. The research identified the top 20 best ecosystems in the region.

TARGETED PROGRAM FOR AGRICULTURERS

Boasting extensive experience of providing loans to agricultural enterprises, in 2017 the Bank was granted the status of an authorized bank of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation for the agribusiness concessional lending program: The Bank’s customers can now apply for loans with up to a 5% interest rate.

In 2020, the Bank continued to actively lend to the agriculture sector. In particular, the Bank financed Pravdinskoye Pig Framing Company, one of the major breeding companies in the Kaliningrad Region. As part of the credit facility agreement with the company, the Bank opened two lines of credit worth a total of RUB 500 mln under the Concessional Loan Program of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation. The loans were disbursed to Pravdinskoye Pig Framing Company to buy young stock, fodder, and veterinary drugs, prepare for planting operations and repair agricultural equipment for a new season.

In the reporting year, the Bank executed concessional facility agreements with a total value of
RUB 1.5 bn with agricultural enterprises.

FOR EXIM COMPANIES

In 2020, the development of services for EXIM companies was one of the Bank’s strategic priorities.

The principal area of focus in this direction is the positioning of the Bank as a reliable partner, a leader in servicing the EXIM activities of Russian companies. Throughout the year the Bank’s experts demonstrated the market a high level of competence in this field, while the operational service provided the first-class experience.

We always place a special focus on improving the convenience and quality of the integrated international business services for our corporate customers where not just individual aspects are worked on but an ecosystem as a whole. The change represents an evolution from the simple to the complex: the work is not merely and not only aimed at improving cash payment services or currency control procedures but also at handling these aspects in combination with other products and services, for example, as a consulting service or a niche pricing plan offering, etc.

In 2020, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank provided a range of banking support measures to its corporate customers engaged in international business. This included financial services that are particularly relevant when the Bank’s dealings with clients are fully remote, such as:

  • seamless cross-border payments both in Russian rubles and in foreign currency without changing the receipt and transfer routines;
  • an increased period of time and a higher amount of FX transactions, with making FX transactions available to customers via our online banking portal between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., and increasing the upper limit on the transaction amount to USD 15 mln;
  • consistently responsive, personalized customer support for registering international business contracts, where our employees provide clients with necessary support and our currency control officers are always ready to be contacted;
  • a series of webinars to support business partners covering relevant issues in the field of foreign economic activities.

When structuring transactions with clients, the Bank put a particular focus on the use of letters of credit for payments under international business contracts. For exporters, this method secures that foreign currency revenue is credited to their account on the dates stated in their international business contracts, while for importers, it is a good way to secure the receipt of the very product that is to be supplied under the contract.

In addition, the Bank has made available to exporters and importers three comprehensive offers combining a letter of credit and hedging facilities, which provide protection against business and currency risks. These include the following:

  • a letter of credit with post-financing + a hedging instrument;
  • a letter of credit with reservation of funds + a hedging instrument;
  • an export letter of credit + a hedging instrument.

A suitable hedging instrument (such as a forward contract, an option, or an option strategy) is selected on a case-by-case basis.

As for special pricing plan offers, in 2020, the Bank offered its Light VED — a new pricing plan adapted for small and medium-sized businesses engaged in international business operations. The Light VED includes a range of services that are most required by exporters and importers. The following services are available on a no-fee basis: preliminary review of an international business contract; maintaining the first foreign currency account; subscription fee for the i2B service; payments within the Bank both in Russian rubles and in foreign currency; 15 payments in Russian rubles (to corporate accounts) to other banks; issuing a bank control record on request; adjustment of details of supporting documents and urgent registration of the contract.

As for the development of technological equipment and provision of benefits to participants of EXIM activities with online services, corporate customers can automatically send SWIFT МТ 940, МТ 941 and МТ 942 statement messages through Internet Bank i2B. Russian representative offices of foreign companies and other organizations founded by non-resident entities must regularly provide them financial reports according to the established international reporting standards. Internet Bank i2B has an in-built functionality which, once enabled, will automatically send out reports with the required (daily/monthly) frequency. Financial information is transmitted via protected SWIFT channels directly to the parent entity’s bank. Foreign bank’s consent to receive such statements must be obtained to enable the service.

In 2020, the SWIFT GPI service was launched into commercial operation. SWIFT GPI allows you to track payments as they go through a chain of correspondent banks in real time. The system generates notifications every time when a credit institution changes the status of your transfer.

From November 2020 onwards, all the banks using SWIFT will need to send information about transfer execution, delay or denial to the SWIFT GPI service, which will significantly improve the transparency of transfers for the participating banks.

As part of developing the Bank’s international business consulting service, we work to continuously enhance the existing and build new contacts with counterparties and business partners specialized in the development of international business operations and services. The second half of 2020 was busy in terms of achieving final agreements and approving long-term plans for fruitful cooperation between the Bank and a number of support organizations and institutions. In particular, September 2020 saw the conclusion of an agreement with the Saint Petersburg Export Support Center, and in December 2020, the Bank partnered with the Leningrad Region’s Economic Development Agency and Industry Development Center, and one of the largest transport and forwarding operators MODUL. By strengthening its partner network, the Bank will be able to expand its service offering for corporate customers engaged in international business operations, develop better product offers and improve customer service.

The Bank has launched its business channel VEDsovet on Telegram to expand its range of online services for both existing and prospective clients. The VEDsovet provides a forum for real professionals in different areas of international business to publish cases, opinions and reviews, as well as latest news from the world of export and import on a daily basis. The channel’s content will be of interest not only to our customers already engaged in international business, but also to those who are just considering to start it. The channel has already attracted about 3 800 followers.

The VEDsovet customer support service, which is currently available to both existing and prospective customers of the Bank via a dedicated phone line, email, Telegram, and WhatsApp, has won a prize at the Innovation Time 2020 awards in the Service Solution of the Year — Financial Services category, which reflects the high level of customer service provided by the Bank.

TRADE FINANCE OPERATIONS

Bank Saint Petersburg offers its customers a wide range of high-quality services related to documentary operations and international trade finance. The Bank continues to maintain and strengthen its positions in this market segment by supporting and expanding the list of its foreign counterparty banks.

In 2020, the Bank’s trade finance business saw a significant increase in the number of transactions involving import letters of credit and an uptick in handling standby letters of credit intended to secure obligations of the Bank’s customers.