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Products and initiatives for SME customers

GRI:
  • [Custom indicator 8] Information about key products, including new products launched during the reporting period Information about key products, including new products launched during the reporting period

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  • [Custom indicator 9] Products and initiatives for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) Products and initiatives for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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  • [203-2] Significant, indirect economic impacts Significant, indirect economic impacts

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We provide services to small and medium-sized enterprises from all over Poland representing all sectors, apart from those excluded due to the compliance policy (e.g. companies supporting terrorism, suspected of money laundering, trading in arms). Some sectors, such as agriculture, have a special offer prepared by the bank.

We provide services to nearly 308,000 business entities with an annual turnover of up to PLN 40m.

In accordance with the adopted strategy, we support the business expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) based on the following three pillars:

  • Top quality customer service provided through qualified advisors and remote, communication channels (we promote multichannel and digitalised processes and products)

  • Distinctive, simple products with additional non-financial services (simple products and customer-tailored initiatives are our strengths)

  • Building customer loyalty and long-term partner relationships with customers (we listen respond and advise)

We place special emphasis on specialised training programmes for SME advisors, to ensure effective services, best suited to the customer’s needs. Our SME advisors receive training in different business models, economic and financial analysis and credit risk assessment.

To meet the highest customer service standards, we keep A Register of Credit Certificates granted in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Obtaining Credit Certificates in Santander Bank Polska.

We see our role as a partner, offering SME customers advice and a wide array of non-financial services, including support in networking with prospective counterparties and investors, industry insight, specialist workshops and training.

Scope of our offer for SMEs:

customised business accounts

a wide array of credit facilities, such as working capital financing, investment loans (including via the European Investment Bank), preferential loans subsidised by the Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture and guarantees, leasing and factoring facilities

Santander Leasing, as one of few leasing providers, offers financing to startups. A new business can finance the purchase of a car using the Autoleasing product.

An extensive range of deposit and investment products, modern distribution channels, comprehensive trade finance services and treasury services serve as additional tools to build sustainable relationships with customers.

New developments, innovations, important initiatives:

  • We introduced a portfolio- based customer service to ensure top quality services and understanding of the customer and their needs. Our advisors have been specially trained in this area. In addition, our sales network advisors are supported by advisors from the central unit, that is, the Business Customer Service Centre.
  • We have launched a service of issuing bank guarantees in electronic form. Customers can obtain an e-Guarantee on the iBiznes24 platform, have it e-mailed to them, or have it forwarded directly to the guarantee beneficiary. This solution shortens the time required to obtain a guarantee and deliver the agreed collateral to your client.
  • To improve processes, including services, we have made use of the first robots for managing the Trade Finance accounting elements. Currently, they support the closure of guarantees in accounting terms, and works continue on the processes of opening guarantees and letters of credit in accounting terms.
  • We have implemented a tool for faster servicing of orders involving issuing a large number of cards for one company. In 2017, we used this tool for documenting the issuance of approximately 1,000 cards.
  • We set up a dedicated front-office team of experts, providing professional advice on Trade Finance products to our customers and employees. The Team also provides assistance in substandard and confidential transactions.
  • Since the beginning of 2018, we have implemented a new solution for handling ZUS payments in accordance with the Act of 11 May 2017 on the new ways of transferring contributions by social security remitters. The customer makes a single transfer to the Social Security Institution (ZUS) to its individual contribution accounts, which replaces the three or four earlier accounts assigned to different types of contributions. This amendment required that we coordinate15 banking systems, to maintain data integrity between them.
  • At the beginning of 2018, we launched a new tool for monitoring early overdue payments– CCS (Customer Communication Services). This self-service platform is accessible on 24/7 basis.
  • We implemented a new model for offering ARKA Investment Funds, providing a platform for managing funds accessible from Santander online. A total of 150k of customers have already logged into the service and analysed the funds offer.
  • We have facilitated mass payments, by implementing the Host2Host channel. Thanks to this solution, the customer can execute a large number of payments to the accounts of banks of the recipient from their own payment system without the need to use the banking system.

Developments in online, mobile and telephone banking services

We have expanded the group of SME customers by launching the telephone service, which ensures convenient cooperation with the bank over the phone.

We have expanded the telephone service by adding new functionalities, and we implemented customer identification using voice biometrics. This function is used by 700 customers.

We have introduced improvements in remote channels:

  • Customer calling the iBiznes24 helpline are automatically redirected to the advisor they contacted earlier, which shortens the waiting time.
  • We launched new communication channels: chat with iBiznes24 advisors and Mail 2.0 – a new functionality of iBiznes24, via which the customer can submit a complaint or other inquiries.
  • We have made it possible for the customer to carry out banking operations from the level of their accounting system. This service is called iBiznes24 connect – automatic and secure exchange of data between financial and accounting systems and iBiznes24 without the need for any manual operations.

Our initiatives support the entrepreneurship of the customers of Santander Bank Polska

We support companies that are exporters and importers by implementing our Trade Com programme. Besides offering a comprehensive range of products tailored to the specific needs of this customer group, we provide them with information on potential clients or suppliers and international sales markets. In addition, we offer exchange rate securing (i.e. the possibility of 'booking' specific FX rates for a period longer than 2 business days) and securing payments or contract execution (letter of credit and documentary collection).

We promote a special group of customers- family companies. Most Polish companies are either preparing for succession for the first time or currently going through succession. To owners and companies, a secure succession process guarantees safety and further development. That is why the role of the bank is so important in the process of changes taking place as a result of a generation change or acquisition of an outside investor.

On 9 March 2017, a conference entitled “Family Company QUO VADIS” was held in Warsaw at the Leon Koźmiński Academy, as a part of this project. The event focused on challenges that Polish entrepreneurs engaged in the succession process had to face. The main objective of the conference was to extend the perception of succession in family businesses, by indicating other possible succession scenarios than leaving the business in the hands of the family and to discuss change in leadership as one of the key effects of succession.

In February 2017, in partnership with the Polish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, we organised a conference in Warsaw, which attracted representatives from 40 companies from both these countries interested in foreign expansion. The selection of companies was meant to help the participating entrepreneurs find potential partners, for example, Portuguese wine producers and Polish representatives of retail chains. This meeting was one of the elements of accomplishing our export and import promoting strategy.

Initiatives for 2018:
  • We will launch a new digital channel facilitating the acquisition and servicing of customers, “Remote SME Advisor.” This solution will provide customers with easy access to their banking advisor anywhere and anytime.
  • We will launch the Działalność.pl website. The objective of this solution is to guide a “starting” entrepreneur step-by-step through the entire process of establishing a business, without the need to leave the house. The website will provide the required forms, a tool supporting the establishment of a business and a rich source of knowledge, including videos, webinars and conversations. In this process, the entrepreneur will be supported by an experienced accountant, and additionally, will have the opportunity to use the best e-Accounting platform available in the market as well as other settlement tools.
  • We promote eco-friendly investments. In March 2018, Santander Leasing introduced a special offer for financing electric cars called, “Zero Emissions, Zero Interest”. The lease is a 100% finance plan.

Lease products

Santander Leasing has 19 years of experience on the Polish market. It is one of top lease finance providers in Poland and a long-term leader in the machinery and equipment financing segment. Being a universal lessor, Santander Leasing offers financing for a wide range of assets to SMEs and corporate customers. The company has always focused on providing high-quality services and being a solid and reliable partner in relationships with customers. Its offer includes special products for customers from selected industries e.g. agriculture.

Our special offer of products and services dedicated to agriculture:
  • Santander Leasing offers a loan for financing agricultural land, with as little as 1% of own share over a period up to 30 years. The capital repayment includes an interest-only option, which helps the customer expand the scope of their business.
  • Santander Leasing prepared for farmers a loan for financing vehicles used for everyday work in the field. The offer is addressed mainly to individual farmers, who are not VAT payers.
  • Every year, the representatives of Santander Leasing meet with farmers, suppliers of agricultural equipment and other entrepreneurs related to the agribusiness during the AGRO SHOW agricultural fair. The Company always takes active part in this event.