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UniCredit Bank. “We are expanding our possibilities”: interview of Lyubomir Punchev, Retail Business Center Director


Lyubomir Punchev, UniCredit Bank Retail Business Center Director, about what the banks merger will bring to the clients, in which direction the new bank will develop, about the tendencies at credit and deposit market and whether we should expect the mortgage rates decrease.

─ The technical merger of PJSC “Ukrsotsbank” and PJSC “UniCredit Bank” is about to terminate in the nearest days. In which direction will the newly merged bank develop? Will the retail business strategy change?

Definitely the merger process is not the simplest stage in operation, nevertheless, the hardest period is already behind, and we have dynamic growth in front of us. PJSC “Ukrsotsbank” in general was oriented to massive market segment. The large network of branches and ATMs, major salary projects, social programs, massive auto and mortgage crediting – all this was what made us well-known. By uniting with PJSC “UniCredit Bank” we expand our possibilities: we get enormous work experience with the clients of “middle+” level, foreign representations of world companies, international clients of UniCredit group. Uniting main directions of two banks, we get a high-quality and weighed diversified business with good results and bigger potential.

─ Will the merger affect bank clients? Will there be changes in terms of agreements/service?

We are doing everything to maximally preserve the terms where possible. The merger will not affect the terms of contract relations; they will function by the end of agreement. Unfortunately, we are limited by legal and IT sphere. And nevertheless in order to give the clients the possibility to be served the way they are used to, we reviewed internal procedures of PJSC “Ukrsotsbank”, supplemented the product range, offered new individual terms and designed special package offers.

─ Which priorities will clients get from the merger?

First of all – comfort service and expansion of possibilities. In comparison to PJSC “UniCredit Bank” the quantity of branches of the united bank is increased in 10 times, partner network of ATMs – in 8 times and own ATMs – in 30 times. The clients will also win due to the expansion of bank product range. They have already experienced the diversity of our crediting product range, attractive terms of deposit programs, including those with payment cards usage, previously inaccessible social cards. Concerning the payment cards as a whole, now the clients have the possibility to use all privileges of world innovative technologies.

─ Which priorities does Ukrsotsbank give to SME?

We offer a wide range of products and services, designed especially on the basis of clients’ needs of this segment. Among the main priorities of servicing micro and small business clients we can distinguish the following ones: wide network of branches all round Ukraine (even in small towns); personal manager for every client, which favors the construction of efficient relationship with every separate client; wide specter of products for business – we offer all types of bank services, represented at banking market of Ukraine and also we have designed and have been actively promoting unique products, such as: credit card for legal entities and entrepreneurs, preliminary decision on credit issue (credit certificate), possibility of fast overdraft limit increase at client’s appeal; special programs for the representatives of business spheres (production, trade, agriculture, etc.); flexible price policy, helping to serve business with minimal expenses; large quantity of partners all round Ukraine, which helps to design a variety of interesting offers; reliability and stability of UniCredit group, which gives confidence in tomorrow’s day. We are constantly improving our product offer and optimizing current processes in order to correspond to constantly growing needs in speed and quality, driven by developing market of micro and small business segment.

─ Should we expect the decrease of mortgage and auto loan rates? Which tendencies are observed?

There are no reasons for changing car loans rates. Everything is rather stable; by the year end no significant changes in auto crediting terms are planned. We are confident leader at auto crediting market with the marker share of more than 20%. Our bank offers exclusive partner programs with auto dealers and importers, with interest rates more interesting for the client in a number of cases, than all-Ukrainian crediting programs are. Besides this, promotion offers in the frames of partner programs are becoming more popular ahead of New Year holidays. The bank has also launched all-Ukrainian promotion campaign “Credit vyhidnyy”, with terms focused on comfortable purchase of car on credit, which is especially pending on New Year eve. The main advantages – simple and comfortable loan with minimal start expenses: absence of commissions for loan issue, advance in the amount of 10% of car cost, preferable CASCO tariff of 4.5% and the possibility to issue insurance on credit. By this the client has a possibility to buy personal car without additional load to the budget, actively spend holidays and make relatives and friends happy with gifts.

The issue of mortgage rates decrease is related to expectations on economic and political environment in the country, and the level of people’s welfare and the cost of such credit. Depending on the prices for deposit resources, own resources of the banks and market tendencies, the banks will offer more convenient crediting programs, but this will slightly reflect on mortgage interest rate. We are constantly analyzing the market aimed at designing and offering our clients the most efficient and comfortable crediting programs. By now the bank offers one of the most attractive terms at the market: crediting rate from 16,59% for up to 20 years, advance payment from 30%. Our bank is leading among commercial banks according to the amount of loans in mortgage lending, which proves high level of clients’ trust, transparency and efficiency of our terms. Next year we are planning to actively work at the market of primary real estate. Longer crediting terms and beneficiary programs let the bank offer clients, interested in debt resources, more interesting crediting terms in comparison to constructors’ installment programs.

─ Do you plan innovations in the nearest time to develop retail business?

Currently our bank is focused on innovative schemes for clients’ service, expansion of new Internet-banking functions, and implementation of mobile banking at the Android and iOS platforms and launch of “Branches of the Future”. The focus will drift from standard banking products to newest projects, such as contactless cards, NFC-technologies, on-line consultations, etc.

And following a nice annual tradition PJSC “Ukrsotsbank” is once again offering clients the “New Year’s” deposit ahead of New Year. We have designed this offer basing on successful experience and expertise of our clients’ main interests. Of course, when placing a deposit, the clients are first of all interested in the income level to collect. That is why we offer the clients not only the increased interest rate but also a guaranteed supplement. Basing on our experience we can say that such approach is very popular. Also, there are pleasant surprises for the clients depositing large amounts of money – insurance policy for touristic trips and exclusive Gold card.

─ Which tendencies have you noticed at the market of loans/deposits? Which deposits are the most popular among the clients?

Nowadays deposits in national currency for 12 months term with a possibility of replenishment are the most popular among people. During 2013 there was seen a tendency to placing funds for longer period.

Date: 29.11.2013

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