Ensuring availability of financial services

Developing our branch network we aim to place our offices in convenient locations in order to gain as many customers as possible. Using geomarketing technologies we identify areas with high concentration of customers and open customer service outlets near the places where these people live, work and study, or open outlets close to major pedestrian traffic routes. We opened 302 service outlets in new places in 2014 while 545 service outlets were moved to other places and 1,138 service outlets were closed because of their inefficient location.

When designing our network we are trying to provide equal access to our services to customers throughout Russia, including underdeveloped and low-populated areas More information on the application of the methodology is available in the About the Report section., where doing business could be economically challenging. While overall reduction of number of service outlets in 2014, the share of branches in those regions increased by percentage point and constituted 27%. We also continue to develop a network of self-service machines. During the reporting year the number of self-service machines increased by 15% in underdeveloped and low-populated areas.

Table 11: Sberbank’s services channels development in Russia, including in underdeveloped and low-populated areas
Parameter 2012 2013 2014 Changes during the reporting period
Number of customer service outlets 18,377 17,882 17,046 -4,7%
Including those located in underdeveloped and low-populated areas 5,318 4,672 4,627 -1,0%
Share, % 29% 26% 27%
Number of ATMs 73,973 89,016 90,059 1%
Including those located in underdeveloped and low-populated areas 18,534 22,117 25,334 15%
Share, % 25% 25% 28%

We also try to make our services available to the customers living in rural areas. For this purpose we develop various banking services: we open mobile banking service points, install self-service machines and improve remote channels (Mobile Banking and Sberbank Online). Thus, in 2014 the number of mobile banking service points increased by 33% compared with the previous year and the number of active users of Internet banking more than doubled.

Figure 9: Development of Sberbank’s remote channels

Improving bank’s services availability under the “Online village” project

We initiated a pilot project called “Online village” to make our services available in small villages in remote areas. The project included the following activities:

  • installation of free internet kiosks at the administrations and public institutions with access to banking services through Sberbank Online and Sberbank Business Online, to the personal account of network operators and to public services portal;
  • meetings and trainings of local customers on how to operate the remote banking services;
  • support of activists in promoting online services to the public.

In 2014, six regional banks participated in the project and 104 service outlets in 11 regions of Russia were opened: Altai and Stavropol Territories, Tambov, Novgorod, Pskov, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, and Orenburg Regions.

This project helped people in remote areas to repay loans, pay for traffic fines and communication services, pay for utilities and taxes without going to regional centres. Residents of villages will also be able to get access to a public services portal to schedule an appointment with a doctor, to apply for a passport and to ask questions to the municipal authorities.

In 2014, the number of customer service outlets increased in Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Europe. In Belarus, there was a decrease in the number of branches due to the implementation of the offices reformatting programme (24 ineffective sales points were closed and four new ones were opened). The total branch network of Sberbank Group outside Russia counts 1,455 customer service outlets.

Figure 10: Customer service outlets in subsidiary banks of Sberbank Group

Figure 11: Share of customer service outlets and ATMs of subsidiary banks of Sberbank Group, located in underdeveloped and low-populated areas

The Group’s subsidiary banks as well as Sberbank demonstrate a tendency towards expansion of remote channels. The number of ATMs increased by 7% versus the previous year, while the number of mobile and online banking users doubled.

Reformatting of customer service outlets

In 2014 we continued to implement Branch Network Reformatting programme in Russia, which includes office upgrade to make them more ergonomic and comfortable. The result of the programme implementation was reformatting 68% of the branch network in the cities.

Table 12: Reformatting of branch network offices programme implementation results in Russia
Parameter 2012 2013 2014 Changes during the reporting period
Number of reformatted customer service outlets (cumulatively), including: 2,835 4,612 5,997 30%
in big cities (population more than 100,000 people) 2,063 3,339 4,189 24%
in small cities (population less than 100,000 people, villages) 772 1,273 1,808 45%

Improving accessibility for disabled people

During reformatting we continued to adapt our offices to the needs of people with disabilities. Offices were equipped with ramps or lifts, and reception desks were installed at a lower level to implement a “sitting-sitting” format of service. A call-button was mounted near the office entrance so that disabled client can call for assistance and access the premises with help of a bank employee.

Table 13: Adaptation of customer service outlets to the needs of disabled people in Russia
Parameter 2012 2013 2014 Changes during the reporting period
Number of customer service outlets equipped with ramps or low desks 3,008 5,119 6,504 27,1%
Number of ATMs customised for disabled people (placed at a lower level and equipped with Braille) 17,318 20,213 22,282 10,2%

In 2014 share of customer service outlets in Russia adapted to the needs of disabled people increased by 9 percentage points and constituted 38.2% of all outlets.

Figure 12. Share of customer service outlets adapted for disabled people, %

Figure 13. Share of ATMs adapted for disabled people, %