Financial and
ESG report 2020

Retail banking

Retail banking constitutes an important area in Bank Millennium activities. The Bank has a broad range of universal banking services and products designed for individual clients, affluent individual clients (Prestige), Private Banking and business clients.

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Clients have access to products and services through the branch network, internet banking, mobile and telephone banking and the network of ATMs, thereby having an opportunity to manage their finances in a convenient and safe way. 

In 2020, the implementation of client acquisition targets proceeded in line with strategic assumptions, however its dynamics, specifically in physical channels, was affected by the pandemic both in Poland and worldwide. From the beginning of the year the Bank increased its active client base by 61.2 thousand. As on 31 December 2020, the Bank provided services to more than 2.63 million active retail clients. Altogether 2.05 million clients were active electronic banking users, while the mobile app was used by 1.66 million clients (annual increase by 18%). 

The sale of current accounts in 2020 was almost 380 thousand. The key product in support of new client acquisition was the Konto 360° account, for several years now one of the most preferred personal accounts in Poland. In 2020, the number of Konto 360º accounts in the Bank portfolio exceeded 1.72 million, with a definite majority opened by clients who had not yet used personal accounts in Bank Millennium. After 3Q20 the Bank came 6th in the market in terms of growth of new accounts for individual clients, with a market share above 7% (according to PRnews report).  

The promotion of Konto 360º accounts in 2020 was supported by: 

  • new rounds of advertising campaigns on TV channels and the Internet; 
  • promotional activities involving the use of the goodie shopping app and in cooperation with external internet portals – almost 26% personal accounts were acquired online; 
  • new rounds of the „Like it! Share it” referral programme, under which you may receive attractive prizes for recommending Konto 360° or Konto 360° Student to others. In 2020 almost 240 thousand clients registered in consecutive rounds of the programme. 

Year 2020 was very challenging for the Bank in terms of deposit base management. The Bank’s results in the savings area were largely impacted by interest rate cuts of the Monetary Policy Council in response to the COVID’19 outbreak. The reference rate dropped in total by 1.4 pp. (from 1.50% to 0.10% due to the MPC decision of 17 March, 8 April and 28 May). 

The Bank took decisions to lower interest on term deposits and savings accounts. From March to June a number of decisions were taken on successive interest rate cuts on all savings accounts (main changes of interest rates in June, July and September) and term deposits (main changes of interest rates in April and June). 

No possibility of interest rate cuts on current accounts (interest at the level of 0%), while interest rate cuts on savings products did not fully compensate for cuts in market interest rates.  

Despite the cuts in interest rates and continued record-low interest rates, both nominal and real (due to inflation), the deposit market for retail clients went up in 2020 by PLN71.1 billion, i.e. by PLN0.3 billion more than in 2019 (growth by PLN70.8 billion).  

The growth of retail deposit volumes at Bank Millennium in 2020 was PLN1.96 billion (PLN0.78 billion without Business segment clients) and occurred mainly on current accounts (+PLN8.4 billion). The volume on savings accounts went up by PLN5 million with a drop of term deposits by PLN6.4 billion. 

Business activities with respect to savings products in 1H 2020 focused on adjusting the interest on products to successive interest rate cuts by the MPC and relevant communication to clients, and in 2H20 on acquiring and retention of volumes among others through campaigns, expanding the group of addressees for savings products retention offers or additional promotions on selected savings accounts.  

In investment products the Bank continued its strategy of offering a diversified portfolio of investment products including both own solutions and products offered by external partners. Depending upon the client segment the offer included structured products, mutual funds, insurance/investment products and bonds. 

In response to changes in the economic environment connected with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the Bank focused on the digitisation of the investment product offer. In 2020 the Bank made available the possibility of opening and processing the Millennium Investment Programme with Millennium TFI Funds in internet banking channels. In addition, this Programme together with the structured deposit were first two investment products offered in the Bank’s mobile application. 

In order to make its offer more attractive, the Bank launched regular promotional campaigns of funds focusing on lowering sales commission. A special strategy was also introduced of rewarding the use of remote channels through a reduction to 0% of sales commission for Millennium TFI units purchased through Millenet. 

The beginning of 2020 began in line with business expectations, but nevertheless, the positive development of the sales situation was disrupted already in March by the limitations related to preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the situation, which throughout 2020 was characterized by high volatility in terms of a decline in consumer sentiment indicators, a reduction in demand for new financing and restrictions related to the availability of bank branches for customers, sales throughout the year reached the value of PLN4.6 billion, thanks to which the market share in sales remained stable compared to the previous year (10.66% in 2020 compared to 10.68% in 2019).  

At the same time, the bank recorded an increase in the portfolio of cash loans by 2% y/y which allowed to achieve a market share in the size of the loan portfolio at the level of 8.51% (increase by 0.1 pp y/y).

In response to the limitations of customer service in traditional channels, the Bank adapted the sales processes of loan products to the new situation and prioritized sales in remote channels. This had a significant impact on the increase in loan sales in 2020 in digital channels (59% share of digital channels in sales in 4Q20 compared to 52% in 4Q19). 

The Bank also supported its clients by offering credit holidays (suspension of loan repayments) for clients who needed help in paying off their liabilities. 

In 2Q20, the Bank was one of the first on the market to introduce the possibility of confirming the client’s income during the cash loan application process, based on the account history at another bank. The solution is based on the mechanisms introduced by the PSD2 directive. 

In 2020, the sale of a cash loan was supported by special offers:  

  • the offer „PLN120 instalment for each PLN5,000 loan” for loans in the amount of PLN5,000, PLN10,000, PLN15,000 or PLN20,000 granted for a period of 58 months with an instalment known in advance of PLN120, PLN240, respectively, PLN360orPLN480.  
  • continuation of the offer for employees of the financial sector

The year 2020 can be described as a year of stable portfolio growth, maintaining an attractive offer and operating in unfavourable conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, the Bank maintained its strategy of developing a competitive offer and sales process. The sale was supported by the following actions:  

  • the „Overdraft for PLN 0” offer addressed to new customers of the Bank, enabling the use of the product in the first year without additional costs – the commission for activating the limit is PLN0. These conditions are among the most attractive on the market.  
  • 7-day interest-free period, which allows you to use the limit without incurring interest costs in each settlement month. 

Acquisition results and transaction rate for payment cards in 2020 were strongly affected by COVID-19 constraints, which resulted in a smaller mobility and activity of card users. 

In terms of credit card acquisition, after a drop of sales at the beginning of the pandemic, in the next months the situation returned to the level from before the lockdown, thanks to numerous sale supporting campaigns. In Q4 2020 the Bank’s actions focused on acquiring cards with higher credit limits and higher revenue potential. Consequently, the end of the year brought a drop in the number of sold credit cards and simultaneously an improvement of qualitative parameters of new cards. 

Thanks to intensive marketing activities in 2020 the Bank achieved a growth on the credit card portfolio by over 12 thousand cards (2.6%). The dynamics of portfolio growth was higher than changes in the market, where the number of credit cards fell by over 5%. At the end of 2020 the credit card portfolio was 477 thousand cards. Flagship products continued to be Impresja and Alfa cards, which provide their holders with a 5% cashback for spending at the Partners of such cards.  

The number of debit cards went up along with the growth of the number of personal accounts, where the main sales product was the debit card issued for the Konto 360 account. The debit card portfolio in the Bank at the end of 2020 reached over 3 million cards, which means its y/y growth by 145 thousand (+5%).  

At the end of 3Q20 Bank Millennium’s market share in the number of issued cards was 8.7% for credit cards (vs. 8.0% at the end of 2019) and 8.3% for debit cards. In terms of the value of card transactions the share was at the level of 9.3% for credit cards and 7.7% for debit cards. 

2020 was a record-high year for Bank Millennium both in terms of the volume of newly concluded agreements for a mortgage loan and for disbursed loans. The Bank significantly increased its market share, which was 12.2% for the whole year (data acc. to SARFIN ZBP), which constitutes significant growth – by 4.5 percentage points – compared to the previous year. The Bank concluded 24.8 thousand new agreements totalling PLN7.2 billion (y/y increase by over 53%). At the same time the value of disbursed loans was PLN6.8 billion 

Throughout the year the Bank was actively working on making its offer more attractive and refining the lending process in terms of efficiency. The purpose of process improvements was to shorten the credit application process time through introducing the possibility of transferring applications by brokers cooperating with the Bank in the form of scans, enabling the preparation and printout of the application for information about a loan from the Bank’s system and supporting the client in the process of obtaining a property valuation, which is one of the documents necessary to apply for a loan. Additionally, in order to ensure that the client receives information about the submitted application on an on-going basis, the Bank introduced a system of informing the client about the status of applications via the mobile app and text messages. This solution is available both for persons who are bank clients and for those who are not such clients yet. All these innovations were very well received by clients and partners, which is confirmed by the Bank’s lending results. Also, the Bank conducted a large-scale process of training in the construction of the product, credit process, reminding this way how to clearly, faithfully and transparently communicate the details of the offer available to the client. 

The Bank’s lending activities, like in the previous year, were based on the offering of an unconditional 0% loan origination fee and 0% early repayment fee. The price offer was kept at a stable level in main LTV buckets, even in the difficult pandemic period.  

During the pandemic the Bank offered to its clients support in the form of loan repayment holidays, i.e. suspension of loan instalment repayments.  

In 2020 the Bank continued its activities in the scope of offering special terms to CHF borrowers i.e. conditions involving currency conversion, repayment of the loan in part or in full. It continued to conduct proactive negotiations on the exchange rate and loan parameters after currency conversion or partial loan repayment, which involved a customised approach to the client’s situation and their expectations. 

In 2020, the Bank continued offering life and non-life insurance in various distribution channels, bank branches as well as all remote channels, which became more and more important in pandemic situation. The Bank’s clients could use a wide range of insurance products offered by Bank Millennium in cooperation with many insurance companies. The distribution of insurance related to cash loans and mortgage products had significant share in the revenues from bancassurance. In 2020, customers could take advantage of many special offers, including the promotion „Get PLN100 for buying a car insurance at Millennium Bank”, „With more insured, you get twice”. 

Prestige is an offer designed for affluent persons having assets from PLN100 thousand to PLN1 million or making monthly payments into an account in the minimum amount of PLN10,000. Private Banking addresses the needs of the most affluent individual clients having assets above PLN1 million, expecting high quality service and offers of financial products tailor-made to meet their individual needs. The Bank offers to these clients a broad range of investment products and insurance/investment products – domestic and foreign investment funds (mutual funds), investment programmes, structured products and selected corporate bonds. Private Banking clients can use credit cards Millennium MasterCard® World Signia/Elite™ with access to the World MasterCard Rewards programme, World/Elite Privileges Partnership Programme, insurance package, as well as Assistance and Concierge packages. 

In 3Q20 the Bank added to its offer a new investment fund company, Templeton Asset Management (Poland) Towarzystwo Funduszy Inwestycyjnych S.A. The new offer of funds was made available to Private Banking Clients who were given access to Franklin Templeton Luxembourg funds investing in various classes of assets, as well as funds investing in specific sectors, such as new technologies or innovations, as well as natural resources. Thanks to expanding the offer clients will now also be able to draw on the many years of experience of Franklin Templeton as regards investments on developing markets by means of a series of regional and global emerging market funds. Most of the funds are available in PLN, USD and EUR. 

As on 31 December 2020 Bank Millennium had 34.6 thousand active Prestige clients and more than 4.1 thousand active Private banking clients. 

Business is an offer addressed to sole traders and civil law and commercial law companies generating annual revenues up to PLN5 million.  

In 2020 over 26 thousand new business accounts were opened thanks to: 

  • possibility of opening business accounts in the Millenet internet banking system for new and existing retail clients of the Bank. In 2020 the Bank made available the possibility of remotely setting up a business account with the use of open banking. Thanks to the implemented solutions 30% of business accounts were opened online. 
  • functioning of special offers for clients opening online bank accounts.  
  • increasing the level of cross-selling to business accounts in the Bank’s branches. 

The Bank offers to its Business Clients a broad range of transactional and credit products including, in particular, an attractive leasing offer and state-of-the-art internet and mobile banking.  

In 2020 the value of loans to Business segment clients was over PLN165 millionThe use of de minimis guarantees of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego increased considerably.  

At the end of December 2020 the portfolio of business loans in the Business segment was over PLN495 million. 

As of 31 December 2020 the number of active clients of the Business segment was almost 104 thousand, which means a growth by 17% compared to the end of the previous year.  

Bank Millennium’s digital channels provide easy access to financial services and many non-banking options. The offer available in the mobile application and internet banking system is constantly expanded to provide new convenient and helpful solutions in line with the customer-centred approach. Digital channels users’ opinions are constantly monitored and clients are included in the process of creating new services. At the same time, the Bank remains flexible and vigilant to react immediately to the changing business and social environment. The Bank cooperates with partners from the public administration, fin-tech and other industries, and implements innovations, e.g. using the artificial intelligence or biometrics. 

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, the Bank was able to support its clients and maintain business continuity, ensuring access to services and product offer without leaving home. At the same time, work on projects aimed at full digitization of services, additional opportunities in the area of client self-service, as well as digital education of clients and active promotion of electronic banking, with particular emphasis on people who have used it to a limited extent or not at all. In 2020, the number of active users of electronic channels exceeded 2 million. 

The year 2020 was also exceptional due to the changes resulting from the EU directive PSD2. Taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by the new regulations, from the beginning of the year, the Bank developed open banking services. It was possible to offer clients a full picture of their finances, also in other banks, but also to take the existing services to an even higher level. 

At the same time, while introducing the changes required by the European Union, the Bank put emphasis on minimizing the resulting discomfort for customers as much as possible. The most noticeable for customers were the changes in online card payments using the 3-D Secure service. A new process was designed with the use of strong authentication for customers using SMS P@sswords and the migration of customers with an active application to mobile authorization (meeting the requirements imposed by the directive) was carried out. 

An important decision, responding to the needs of customers using mobile banking, was starting cooperation with Huawei and making the Bank Millennium mobile application available in AppGallery at the end of 2020. Adaptation of the application to Huawei Mobile Services is planned for the first quarter of 2021. 

Bank Millennium refreshed several of the most popular services, such as transfers or applying for a cash loan, and introduced new solutions in online services, including investment products. Services in electronic channels, such as transaction authorization using a mobile application, have been included in the branches. 

In addition, during the lockdown, educational activities were strengthened to support customers in using online channels. In response to the increased need to use online services during the pandemic, a website was created to help clients to start using bank service on their computers and smartphones: www.bankmillennium.pl/pierwszykrokonline. At the same time, the „First step online” campaign was launched in branches and ATMs. Digitization activities were part of the strategy of the entire Bank. Also branch employees (with the help of Digital Ambassadors) proactively support clients in taking their first steps in electronic banking. 

New transfer form. Bank Millennium refreshed the service most frequently chosen by customers in electronic banking, which is domestic transfer. The introduced changes allow clients to make payments even faster. One of the most important is the form itself, which has been simplified to three fields. The form dynamically develops as the filling progresses. At the same time, it reduces the amount of data needed to enter it to a minimum. 

New cash loan process. Bank Millennium refreshed the process of applying for loan products in line with the omnichannel approach. Clients can apply for additional funds through any channel, fully remotely or hybrid – online with the support of an employee of the hotline or facility. The process aggregates in an improved form, on one application, the existing options, such as remote consent of the spouse or consolidation of external loans, and soon also, for example, solutions facilitating the adjustment of the loan amount and instalment amount to the client’s financial capabilities. In addition, the solution in Millenet and mobile app got a modern and more intuitive design. 

Mortgage application status. In Millenet and the mobile application, the customer can check the progress of the submitted mortgage application at any time. Additionally, they receive a notification each time the status of the application changes. In addition, the Bank has made available an extra layer for the mobile application that allows viewing the application for non-customers. The functionality also enables an easy way of online contact with the Bank’s employee processing the application. This was the first stage of the Bank’s mortgage digitization project. 

Investment products available online. Bank Millennium has enabled clients to invest their money via internet banking and mobile app. Clients can purchase the Millennium Investment Program or open a structured deposit from a computer, tablet or phone. In both processes clients can complete the MIFID questionnaire and better adjust the products to their capabilities, knowledge and experience. 

Opening an account with a selfie. Bank Millennium has given new customers the ability to open a personal account using confirmation of identity based on photos of an ID card and a selfie. An account is created in a few minutes, without the need to contact a consultant or print documents. Instructions on how to start using electronic channels are sent to the e-mail address of the new customer. 

Recovering login data. In order to make it as easy as possible for customers to log in to the account, Bank Millennium has made available on its website the process of secure data recovery for logging into internet banking (login and password). 

Mobile Authorization in branches. As part of the omnichannel approach, Bank Millennium has made available the possibility of confirming some of the transactions carried out in branches using Mobile Authorization. Thus, the customer, instead of signing the paper confirmation, approves it on the phone using the Bank Millennium mobile application. 

Credit holidays. In response to the economic situation caused by the pandemic, Bank Millennium provided individual customers with an online application for suspension of loan instalments repayment for three months, and then the possibility of extending loan holidays by another three months. 

Transaction limits. In response to customer expectations, we have added the option to set Mobile limit and BLIK limits in the mobile application. In addition, the maximum daily transaction limits in Millenet and the mobile application have been increased. 

System working 24/7. Bank Millennium extended processing of operations at night. Thus, own transfers ordered during these hours will immediately be on the indicated accounts, and external transfers are posted on an ongoing basis. The opening or termination of a deposit and investment products is immediately visible on the account, regardless of the time at which the client makes the instruction. 

Changes in live chat. Bank Millennium has started a project to improve the operation of live chat, which is the most-chosen communication channel, especially in the mobile application (an average of 25,000 chats per month, which is approx. 50% of all, including those in Millenet and on the portal). A new platform has been implemented, fully integrated with the Customer Service System in the Contact Center. This change also has a positive effect on the work of consultants who have gained additional tools, including for advanced management of the ticket queue. In 2021, this customer service channel will become an even more important element of the app, as customers will be able to initiate a chat with a consultant from the level of various processes, e.g. applying for a cash loan. 

After the entry into force of the EU PSD2 directive, banks could offer their clients a more complete picture and control of their finances. In line with the strategy of building a financial management platform in digital channels, Bank Millennium has been successively implementing new services using the potential of open banking from the beginning of 2020. 

Finance 360º. As one of the first banks in Poland, Millennium offered the service of aggregating accounts from other banks to its own electronic banking. Thanks to the service, customers can check the balance and transaction history of their accounts in nine largest Polish banks by logging in to the Bank Millennium account. 

Possibility to initiate payments from accounts in other banks. Bank Millennium was the first bank in Poland to offer a service allowing customers to order transfers from their accounts in other banks via Millenet. Currently, the service is available for six banks. 

Confirmation of income when applying for a cash loan. The Bank has launched an omnichannel service that allows customers applying for a loan to confirm their income by logging into another bank in Bank Millennium’s electronic channels. The service is available for accounts in eight banks. 

Confirmation of identity when opening Mój Biznes business account for entrepreneurs running a sole proprietorship (new to Bank). To confirm their identity, all the clients need to do is log in to an account at another bank. Currently, the solution is available for six Polish banks, but more will be added gradually. This is the first such application of open banking for clients in Poland. Additionally, the application is partially automatic thanks to downloading data from the central register (CEIDG). The Bank’s customers can easily set up a business account from the level of electronic channels. 

Bank Millennium has been cooperating with government agendas for years and has contributed to building a digital society and popularizing e-administration. In the year of the pandemic, projects implemented jointly with the public administration were particularly important both for individual clients and for those running a business. 

Financial Shield of the Polish Development Fund. The Bank participates in both editions of the program of distribution of funds for companies affected by the pandemic. The application process for microbusiness has been made available in the Millenet system from the level of the company account. The transfer of documents, getting the decisions and conclusion of an agreement with PFR, as well as the possibility of appealing to PFR decisions, is carried out via the banking system. Subsidy transfers are made directly to the beneficiaries' bank accounts. 

Even more convenient updating of an identity document. The service is available to customers who use Polish IDs. In order to verify the entered data, the banking system communicates directly with the public administration systems. As a result, both the customer and the bank can be sure that the data has been entered correctly. 

Tourist voucher. On the PUE ZUS platform, to which clients can log in via Millenet, they can pick up a travel voucher to be used for holiday trips and more. To log in to the platform, a client only needs to select MilleAdministation tab from the menu, and then PUE ZUS. 

We aim to make the Bank’s electronic channels, and especially the mobile application, a platform aggregating various functions that facilitate everyday life. Therefore, we provide our clients with further services that go beyond the banking area. 

Purchase of cinema tickets. Customers can check the repertoire at the nearest Helios cinema directly in the Bank Millennium mobile app, read film descriptions, select a film and venues, and then pay for tickets – the fee is charged from the current account or credit card. The purchased tickets can be presented to the cinema staff in the application. There is no need to download or print them, or log into other applications. Moreover, purchased tickets can be shared with other people (sent directly from the banking app). The customer goes through the entire process conveniently and quickly in one place. 

Access to the goodie purchasing platform. The users of the mobile application can go to goodie directly from the application and conveniently use numerous promotions, as well as receive returns for online purchases made by goodie cashback. 

  2020 2019 y/y
Active digital banking users  2 052 806  1 838 363  12% 
Active mobile banking users  1 658 554  1 410 855  18% 
Client using Mobile Authorization  1 394 169  223 060  525% 
Clients using open banking (Finance 360º)  36 300     

 

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