Corporate Banking at Bank Millennium is a business line, which provides professional and comprehensive services to clients with annual sales revenues above PLN 5 million and public sector institutions and entities. The Bank has continued a long-term, stable, partner cooperation with corporate clients, which is founded on investment trust, commitment and understanding.
Client service in the Corporate Banking segment is provided through an extensive sales network covering the entire country. Clients have at their disposal Relationship Managers and Consultants working in 35 Corporate Centers, supported by Product Advisors specializing in leasing, factoring, trade finance, treasury transactions and transaction banking.
In addition to the direct contact with the bank’s employees and access to the TeleMillennium telephone service, clients have the ability to use contemporary tools such as:
- Millenet for Corporates Internet banking system (with the “Trade finance” module),
- mobile banking, that is access to accounts and banking operations through mobile phones.
The comprehensive product offering in the corporate area has allowed the Bank to develop custom cooperation proposals based on the diagnosis of client needs, knowledge of its situation and its industry. All the clients, who begin their cooperation with Bank Millennium, are offered comprehensive support in setting up access through electronic channels (current settlements, FX platform, trade finance service and mobile banking).
In 2015, Bank Millennium Bank experienced stable growth of financing granted to corporates. In this period, the volume of loans in the Bank Millennium Group portfolio increased by PLN 0.7 billion (i.e. 5.4% yoy) up to PLN 14.2 billion at the end of the year. This growth was achieved despite the persisting limited demand for bank loan financing, which resulted from the good liquidity standing of the companies, allowing them to cover a significant part of the current needs on their own.
In Q1 2015, an umbrella loan was added to the credit product offering. It is a credit limit shared by several companies in a group of affiliated entities, which was introduced in connection with the plan to strengthen the Bank’s position in the mid corporate segment. The product offers flexible fund management and has garnered great interest from our clients, as shown by the continuing growth of the product’s portfolio.
In order to implement the strategic assumptions for the coming years, including those regarding the investment financing portfolio growth, Bank Millennium has become involved in the distribution of EU funds. In the 2014-2020 financial framework, Poland will receive support of EUR 82.5 billion. Of the funds awarded to Poland in the 2014-2020 financial framework, about EUR 17 billion is designated for the development of entrepreneurship. This is a chance for growth for companies, especially those in the small and medium enterprise segment. In order to develop its cooperation with clients, Bank Millennium prepared a cycle of “business breakfasts” and seminars regarding the acquisition of EU funds in the new financial framework for 20140-2020. One of the steps taken in Q4 2015 to implement the new development plan was the launch of a new product provided in cooperation with BGK as part of the Smart Growth Operational Program. Under the contract, the Bank may offer to SME entities loans financing technological innovation to implement a new technology of producing goods, processes or services that are new or much better than previously produced in Poland. Under the loan for technological innovation, clients may receive a non-refundable support up to PLN 6 million in the form of a technological premium, which is awarded by BGK for the purpose of a partial repayment of a loan granted by Bank Millennium.
To increase convenience in clients’ contacts with the Bank, a new functionality was introduced in the Millenet Internet banking system, which allows clients to send an electronic version of documents in the lending process. The new channel for delivering documents was made available to selected clients in a pilot scheme, which will last until the end of Q1 2015.
The Bank consistently develops the portfolio of structured loans. In 2015, agreements worth nearly PLN 1 billion were signed. In this period, Bank Millennium took part in 6 syndicated financing projects and executed several real property projects.
Specialist Financing – Factoring
In 2015 Bank Millennium has achieved factoring turnover of PLN 13.5 billion. The business growth rate was 11%. This performance meant that in 2015, Bank Millennium maintained the 5th place in the ranking of factoring institutions associated in the Polish Factors Association with a 10% market share.
Such a good result is an effect of a regular increase in the number of transactions and amount of factoring limits, while maintaining their high utilization. In 2015, the factoring assets portfolio grew by 21% up to PLN 1.9 billion. At year-end, the amount of factoring limits awarded in transactions was 27% higher than at the end of 2014.
In 2015 the Bank entered into a Trade Receivables insurance Agreement with TU Euler Hermes S.A. under which insured factoring without recourse transactions are executed. TU Euler Hermes S.A. is another Insurer (after Atradius Credit Insurance N.V. S.A.) with which the Bank has started cooperating. The purpose of executing another Policy is to increase the percentage of insured factoring without recourse transactions in the overall factoring portfolio.
In 2015, the number of opened documentary letters of credit rose by 25% compared to the previous year, which increased the percentage of letters of credit in the entire trade finance portfolio. Also, the amount of granted guarantees and letters of credit facilities increased by 7% to PLN 1.7 billion, while the number of limits grew by 28%.
In “The 2015 World’s Best Corporate/Institutional Digital Banks In Central & Eastern Europe” ranking, Bank Millennium won for the second consecutive year in the trade finance category, “The Best Trade Finance Services”. These awards were conferred by an independent financial magazine called Global Finance.
The distinguished trade finance services, including bank guarantees and documentary letters of credit are available online through an advanced trade finance module in the Millenet for Corporates Internet banking system. The platform handles transactions requested by the Clients as well as those in which they act as beneficiaries.
In 2015, the Clients using the electronic trade finance platform represented 80% of all clients holding guarantee and letter of credit facilities from Bank Millennium. The number of all requests for guarantees and letters of credit submitted via the platform reached 80%.
Client Settlement Services
Bank Millennium has a comprehensive offering of transaction banking products, supported by an efficient and ergonomic Internet banking system. In transaction-related communication with clients, the Bank has actively used alternative host 2 host channels (report store) and mobile banking. Corporate clients have unlimited access to all the Bank’s branches. In cash management they also have access to the cooperating companies’ sorting centers and the modernized cash deposit drop box network.
In transaction banking the Bank focuses on solutions providing high client service quality, process simplification according to lean methodology and operating efficiency to expand the base of clients actively using its pallet of transaction solutions.
2015 was another year that witnessed rapid growth in the number of transactions processed and the transaction products utilized by corporate clients. The number of domestic wire transfers trended up by 19% while the number of international wire transfers rose by 17%. As a result, the volume of funds on current accounts grew significantly (by 20%). The ratio of funds on current accounts to the deposit portfolio has also improved steadily. At year end it was 26.7% (up from 22.7% at year end 2014).
In H1 2015 we observed rapid growth in the usage of the web channel for selling payment cards. The new module rolled out in H2 2014 to manage payment cards is actively utilized by clients to purchase debit cards, charge cards and pre-paid cards. More than 40% of the charge cards issued in 2015 were sold via Millenet. The payment card portfolio swelled by 12%, driven mostly by the rapid growth in the number of pre-paid cards. The 6% growth in the number of charge cards is noteworthy; the number of debit cards edged off slightly.
In H1 2015 Millennium MasterCard Prepaid Commercial cards were added to the offer in USD and GBP to complement the card offering in PLN and EUR. The 3D Secure service launched in the latter half of the year for pre-paid cards affords settlement security in the rapidly growing virtual settlement market.
In addition, we are steadily expanding liquidity services by developing cash pooling type solutions and transactions based on MT101 messages to provide comfort and optimize the management of multi-account and multi-entity structures.
Transaction banking activity is noteworthy on the escrow account market for housing purposes offered as open-end and close-end escrow accounts. At year end 2015 the number of active escrow accounts for housing purposes in the accounts portfolio exceeded 300.
In 2015 Bank Millennium improved the mix of deposit products for corporate clients by growing the percentage share of current accounts in the total volume of deposits by 4 p.p. 2015 was another year in which the costs of funding originating from corporate term deposits were closely monitored. Over the year they fell slightly by 3.5%, among others, on account of the downward trend in market interest rates. The volume of corporate deposits as at the end of 2015 was PLN 17.2 billion.
In 2015 the Bank further developed the Millenet system for Corporates. It is the primary channel to serve corporate clients. The implemented projects such as for instance the ability to submit applications for payment cards in the internet banking system make it possible for clients to perform an ever broader scope of activities electronically. At the end of 2015 clients were given the ability to send electronically the documents used in the loan handling process. The electronic copy of the original document is read into the internet banking system where it is authorized and forwarded to the Bank in a totally secure manner. It is our purpose to continue giving clients more functionalities to provide them with convenience and save their time by shifting important processes to electronic banking.
Last year many new transaction security solutions were introduced. Clients may now use a modern token for authorization to enable them to authorize operations without connecting a device to the computer and installing additional software. The device is compatible with every operating system and browser. Clients also began to use the new login method in which authentication is confirmed using an SMS code.
In 2015 the popularity of mobile banking applications has also grown with the number of users nearly doubling over the year. This application’s functionality is constantly being developed. There are plans to introduce operations to buy/sell foreign currencies in this application.
International activity and external funding
Last year the parameters for the functioning of the international loan market, including in particular syndicated loans that in the past formed a major source of stable funding in foreign currencies for the Bank did not undergo significant change. Therefore, no new agreements have been concluded in this area. The servicing and management of the hitherto and new agreements concluded with international financial institutions were however continued, especially the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), that as of 31 December 2015 included the following:
- an agreement concluded with EBRD in December 2015 concerning a medium-term loan for EUR 50 million extended by EBRD under the PolSEFF Leasing project (Polish Sustainable Energy Financing Facility for Leasing). The funds from this loan will be made available to the Bank’s clients using funding in the form of leasing (through Millennium Leasing), designated to carry out investments to enhance the energy efficiency of the machinery and equipment used and to reduce the costs of energy used. The final loan payment will be made in December 2020.
- an agreement concluded with EBRD in December 2013 concerning a medium-term loan for the equivalent of EUR 75 million designated to increase Bank Millennium’s ability to fund SME sector clients in selected regions of the country. This loan was originated in CHF in two tranches with the final repayment deadline for the various tranches falling in December 2018 and December 2019.
- an agreement concluded with EBRD in December 2012 concerning a loan for PLN 60 million designated to expand the funding of projects under the PolSEFF program launched two year earlier (Polish Sustainable Energy Financing Facility), with the final repayment deadline in December 2016.
- a loan agreement called Global Loan concluded with EIB in December 2010 for EUR 100 million designated to support the bank’s actions to fund investments realized by the small and medium enterprise sector.
Parallel to arrangement of mid-term funding in the international market, Bank Millennium has in recent years successfully issued PLN denominated debt in the domestic market. On 22th June 2015 the Bank issued 3-year unsecured bonds, with total nominal value of PLN 300 million, within private placement offer addressed to institutional investors. The bonds were introduced to trading on the alternative trading system (ASO) operated by BondSpot S.A. and on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Previous issuance of 3-year bonds, conducted in similar mode, took place in March 2014 and covered then the amount of PLN 500 million.
Last year the Bank continued undertakings related to the process in progress for many years of strengthening the base of credible counterparties and partners on the interbank market, especially in the segment of instruments related to managing medium and long-term liquidity in foreign currencies. One of the important aspects of activities in this area was entering into (and updating existing) ISDA framework agreements with domestic and international banks accompanied in most cases by the Credit Support Annex (Hedge Agreement), which is assumed to be fully symmetrical for both sides. At the same time, the Bank has taken measures related to the gradual implementation of the EMIR Regulation (European Market Infrastructure Regulation) and its applicability to activities related to executing transactions pertaining to the various categories of derivatives on the OTC market.
Irrespective of the above activities, in the past year the Bank performed, on the current basis, all other projects and tasks connected with its overall international activities, in the area of diverse targets involving, inter alia, current financing of the Bank’s own and its Clients’ needs, servicing of foreign trade transactions, participation in international currency and money market operations, capital market activities. Achievement of the above resulted largely from the process of development of the Bank’s cooperation with its foreign partners and counterparties, expanded during more than 25 years. The Bank maintains contacts with nearly a thousand correspondent banks and their units located in all countries significant from the perspective of the structure of Poland's foreign trade and non-trade transaction.