Bank Saint Petersburg attaches great importance to the successful development of the regions of its presence, strictly adhering to social responsibility principles in its business operations.
The Bank pays particular attention to the following three groups of social responsibility initiatives: supporting underprivileged children, developing the urban environment, and encouraging financial awareness.
In 2020, the global society was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting challenges significantly affected the social sphere. Bank Saint Petersburg did its best to help overcome the situation.
New challenges call for new solutions. In this respect, in 2020, the Bank refocused its corporate social responsibility efforts in order to solve the urgent issues in the healthcare and social care sectors which were most hit by the pandemic.
During 2020, the Bank provided comprehensive support to more than 40 healthcare facilities in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Its funds were used to equip individual isolation wards for patients with coronavirus infection, as well as to procure medicines and personal protective equipment for doctors working in red zones. During the rise of SARS-CoV-2 cases (in April – May 2020), the Bank paid for the 24-hour provision of hot meals for doctors of the Mariinskaya Hospital in St. Petersburg.
The Bank paid for the installation of sanitizers and disinfectants in schools and kindergartens in several districts of the city. When schools were in distance learning, the Bank bought tablet PCs for students from low-income families in Petrodvorets District of St. Petersburg. The Bank paid for taxi services for health workers in Pushkin to visit their self-isolated patients. The Bank’s funds were used to buy an ultramodern CT scanner for testing patients at the Municipal Hospital of St. John of Kronstadt.
Ensuring that the Bank’s operations are running smoothly and both our clients and employees are feeling comfortable and secure has become a priority for the Bank’s management. About 2 500 employees (or 60% of the staff) were moved to remote work in the quarantine period. A large part of sales activities and customer relations went through online channels. The Bank provided all support measures to its customers that were introduced by the government (the loan repayment holidays under Federal Law No. 106-FZ; the mortgage subsidy scheme; the government’s concessional car loan program, in particular, the implementation of the “Car for Health Workers” sub-program which provides for a 10% discount off the cost of a car purchased by health workers employed by state medical facilities deducted from the first installment payment; interest-free payroll loans, etc.), as well as offered its own debt restructuring programs, and reduced or abolished fees for the most sought-after services. The Bank has quickly launched a number of new online products, such as online registration of transactions with developers, online mortgage approval for retail and corporate clients, online payroll card programs, a virtual bank card, etc.
Another important part of our support activities was financing key businesses and organizations that work at the frontline of the battle against the pandemic.
In the spring of 2020, the Bank and BIOTEK holding supported the provision of Russian hospitals with express tests to expedite the diagnosis of COVID-19. The Bank’s Moscow Branch opened a line of credit worth RUB 400 mln for a major pharmaceutical company BIOTEK to procure innovative COVID-19 rapid tests. The BIOZEK Medical COVID-19 IGG/IGM Rapid Test Cassette produced in the Netherlands detects the virus in the human body within 10 minutes.
The Bank extended a RUB 49 mln loan to Alarm Motors to buy 13 ambulance vehicles. The purpose of the facility was not only to purchase vehicles, but also to provide them with special equipment for transporting and resuscitating patients. The Bank’s loans will also be used to equip seven other medical vehicles that have been earlier provided to medical facilities in the Leningrad Region.
The Bank financed a contract to procure personal protective equipment against COVID-19. The Bank issued an advance bank guarantee for RUB 117 mln to IntelMed JSC and signed a RUB 370 mln credit facility agreement to finance the procurement of personal protective equipment against COVID-19 to be further supplied to medical facilities.
The Bank’s Moscow Branch has entered into partnership with KAMPO JSC, who are currently one of the leading manufacturers of respiratory equipment for medical facilities. In April 2020, KAMPO received a medical device market authorization from the Federal Service for Supervision in Healthcare (Roszdravnadzor) for its GS-16 pneumatic ventilator. The ventilator is designed to provide first aid by artificial pulmonary ventilation and oxygen-air mixture inhalation. The device can be used by hospitals and other (including temporary) medical treatment facilities where it is necessary to ramp up the intensive care capacities due to a lack of lung ventilators, and in emergency care settings. In this partnership, the Bank provides end-to-end services to the business, including a RUB 100 mln financing facility, support of the company’s international business operations and work under government contracts, as well as cash payment services.
As for the support for its SME customers, it was not just a set of measures but an 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 Bank’s #ICAN_ONLINE is another ecosystem launched to support its retail and corporate clients in the context of the COVID-19 expansion. It accommodates financial services that are particularly relevant when the Bank’s dealings with clients are fully remote.
The #ICAN_ONLINE ecosystem not only helps our clients to solve their financial issues, but also enable them to order food at cost, buy services and goods at discounts, visit virtual tours in the most exclusive museums, and be trained by the Skillbox, one of the best digital schools.
The Bank provided a special banking support package for medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes special offers under payroll programs for medical workers and their families, such as reduced rates for the Bank’s loan products (mortgage, consumer and car loans, and credit cards).
In addition, the Bank’s special package offers a zero fee for SMS messages and reduced fees for payments and transfers. Besides, payroll cards that participate in the YARKO loyalty program will receive higher bonus rewards for ordering from popular online delivery services.
In accordance with the decision of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation on the implementation of measures to improve accessibility of online shopping, the Bank brought its fee under its Internet merchant acquiring contracts down to 1% until September 30, 2020 for businesses engaged in retail sales of food, pharmaceuticals, medical goods, household appliances, electronics, telecommunication equipment, clothing, and convenience goods.
To give more support to its clients, the Bank offered a package of Internet merchant acquiring services which is provided in cooperation with its technical partner, Paykeeper. The package includes the following: free connection to the service, six months of free technical support, the company’s client area, and rental holidays for one month for connecting an online cash register. In addition, the client could enjoy special terms for using InSales, an online store platform, including free use of the platform for 60 days and a 50% discount off the base price for the first payment.
In 2020, we still had to solve those social issues that existed prior to the pandemic. The Bank continued to implement its own long-term social programs. In 2020, the Bank continued its long-term aid program for Kolpino Family Education Support Center No. 9 (formerly known as Foster Care Center No. 27). The project started in 2006 when the Bank joined the Board of Trustees of this institution. In addition to improving the Center’s facilities and infrastructure, the Bank also offers the children additional vocational training, healthcare and leisure activities, vocational guidance. The Bank is sponsoring study and interest groups, the Graduates Club, a range of excursions and trips as well as educational materials and games, facilities and resources. The Bank regularly provides incentives for talented teachers at the Center. In 2020, as part of the BlagoDaryu (Thank You) program, the Bank used its funds intended for corporate New Year presents to finance the acquisition of modern gym equipment, an interactive sandpit for a lounge area, and metal detectors for the Kolpinsky Rubezh searching group at the Center for the Promotion of Family Education No. 9.
For 15 years, the Bank has been supporting the Helping Homeless Dogs Charity Foundation. Funds are allocated to shelter 500 stray dogs and 100 cats.
Regardless of the circumstances, Bank Saint Petersburg supports social and cultural initiatives in its regions of presence. In 2020, the Bank allocated funds to the Alexander Gorodnitsky Fund for the installation of a memorable sign To an Unknown Driver at the Kobona: The Road of Life Museum in the Leningrad Region. Moreover, in the year that was particularly difficult for the cultural industry, the Bank supported the St. Petersburg-based Masterskaya Theater by providing our clients with online access to the Balzaminov’s Marriage performance during the celebrations of the Bank’s anniversary.
In addition to its traditional charity events, since 2012, the Bank has supported its employees in their volunteer projects. During 2020, the Bank’s employees volunteered for a number of important charity projects, including:
As a 30-year-old player on the financial market of St. Petersburg, Bank Saint Petersburg is proactively involved in the implementation of essential economic and social projects, provides integrated services to systemically important municipal enterprises, and develops its mortgage lending business. The Bank’s project pipeline includes initiatives aimed at taking care of both old-timers and younger generation, preserving the historical heritage, and creating a comfortable urban environment. Bank Saint Petersburg is always there ready to help when it comes to the crunch.
In a ceremonial signing, Chairman of the Management Board Alexander Savelyev and Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov made a Cooperation and Liaison Agreement between the City of St. Petersburg and PJSC “Bank “Saint-Petersburg” to lay down the basis for cooperation and liaisons between the parties in the field of economic development of St. Petersburg.
Under this Agreement, the Bank intends to develop and implement community-focused projects in the city, including in the fields of family policies, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood support, and improvement of people’s lives. Other goals include the development and deployment of state-of-the-art banking technology for the benefit for the community, broad deployment of electronic payment mechanisms, development the banking infrastructure, and roll-out of projects promoting the development of small and medium-sized businesses in the city.
The Bank plans to improve and develop the corporate lending system, including for legal entities engaged in the design and construction of social infrastructure in St. Petersburg, and transfer such facilities into public ownership to the city.
On January 21, 2020, the First Deputy Chairman of the Management Board Pavel Filimonenok and Chairman of the Committee for Economic Policy and Strategic Planning of St. Petersburg Valery Moskalenko signed a Cooperation and Liaison Agreement to Support Sustainable Social and Economic Development of St. Petersburg. The Agreement was part of the implementation of the Action Plan for the Development of Social Infrastructure in Education and Healthcare approved by Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov on December 18, 2019.
The cooperation is designed to ensure mutually productive interactions between the parties in order to provide comprehensive support to building social infrastructure facilities, such as kindergartens, schools and out-patient clinics, in St. Petersburg. The Committee intends to submit potential projects for the implementation using project financing to Bank Saint Petersburg for consideration after a relevant expert review. The Bank, in turn, will prepare and submit to the Committee its proposals regarding available tools, mechanisms and terms of project financing, and send requests for information about commitments for the construction of social infrastructure facilities or whether such facilities are needed in St. Petersburg.
The Bank has entered into a RUB 360 mln credit facility agreement with IntelMed JSC. The loan proceeds will be used to pay to vendors in order to meet commitments on supplying medical equipment to a new building of Municipal Hospital No. 33.
A new treatment and diagnosis building of Municipal Hospital No. 33 in Kolpinsky District of St. Petersburg is scheduled to be put into operation until the end of this year. It will have 276 treatment beds and 30 intensive care beds and will house a cardiovascular surgery department and a neurosurgery department. If necessary, the hospital can be quickly converted into a facility for treating coronavirus patients.
IntelMed is one of the leading suppliers of medical equipment in the Russian market. They have been supplying high-quality medical equipment, appliances and consumables for medical facilities and health care centers for more than 20 years.
The Bank issued bank guarantees worth a total of RUB 1.1 bn to SPb Renovatsiya LLC to secure their obligations under contracts with the Committee of Property Relations of St. Petersburg. This is the first time that the developer participates in this type of auctions held by the city.
The subject matter of the contracts is the purchase by the city of St. Petersburg of 300 apartments with a total area of 13 thousand square meters in four buildings that are currently being built as Phase II of the New Kolpino residential facility for the purposes of the implementation of the government-sponsored program “Provision of Affordable Dwelling Units and Housing and Public Utility Services to Residents of St. Petersburg” and the “Provision of Accommodation to Orphans, Children Without Parental Support, and Individuals From Among Them Under Contracts of Rent of Special-Purpose Dwellings” in accordance with the Targeted Investment Program.
Projects designed to develop the city’s infrastructure will always be a priority for us. The Bank extended a loan to SV-Transport leasing company to buy 100 buses for Passazhiravtotrans municipal transport company. An auction to supply extra-large buses under financial lease was held by Passazhiravtotrans in December 2019. The auction winner SV-Transport has to date completed the delivery of 100 new articulated buses for the transport services of St. Petersburg, which are already running around the city. All the vehicles were built in Minsk. The buses are outfitted with Euro 5 compliant engines and disabled access facilities.
The Bank offers a special-purpose loan for education in Russian universities. Our educational loan is available to individuals of 21 years of age and older for higher education purposes. An eligible borrower under the program is a student or his/her parent. The loan should not exceed the cost of educational services as stated in the contract and should be at least equal to the program minimum amount, being RUB 50 000. The interest rate is 9.5% per annum. The loan term ranges from 13 months to seven years.
The Bank’s online banking service has been recognized as the most accessible for people with impaired vision. The Arts, Science and Sports Charity Foundation in cooperation with the Everland inclusiveness project studied the accessibility of mobile and online services offered by different organizations as part of the Special Look program intended to support people with visual impairments. Among other things, the expert evaluation covered banking services. The online banking service offered by Bank Saint Petersburg was recognized as the most accessible for people with visual problems, scoring 5 out of 5 possible points.
Bank Saint Petersburg is fully aware of the importance of building a healthy social environment and will continue to be actively involved in the social life by implementing its traditional charity projects and encouraging employees’ volunteer initiatives.