Annual report 2019

Transparency and dialogue with Clients

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Simple communication

Our goal is the simplification of language which we use to communicate with our clients in Bank documents, letters, promotional materials, etc. In 2019, we started working on a simplified language for use in communication with clients. We have established cooperation with linguists from the Simple Polish Workshop at the University of Wroclaw. The project began with training sessions for employees responsible for communication with clients.

In 2019, we held 5 workshops during which we trained almost 100 employees form the complaint, marketing and Customer Experience departments.

Simple language

In 2020, we plan to continue initiatives aimed at simplifying the language of communication with clients: we will conduct further training and provide training materials (including e-learning) to employees. We are also preparing an internal textbook with simple-language rules, guidelines for preparing documents (such as regulations, contracts, etc.) and sample letters.

Responsible sales

Responsible Sales Declaration

The Responsible Sales Declaration is a means of self-regulation for the financial industry. The initiators of the project are financial institutions (including Bank BNP Paribas) and the project’s host is the Consumer Federation. The initiative was implemented to raise and promote ethical standards in customer relations, educate business and consumers, increase confidence in the financial industry and counteract unfair practices.

Przemek Gdański President of the Management Board at BNP Paribas Bank Polska SA

Like any other business, the financial industry (including banks) should generate profits and bring its shareholders and investors an attractive return on invested capital. However, these profits cannot be achieved at the expense of the abuse of customer trust. Banking must be based on honest dialogue with stakeholders. Initiatives for responsibility are particularly important for BNP Paribas Bank Polska, therefore the Responsible Sales Declaration (which we implemented alongside industry partners), aims to raise and disseminate responsibility standards in customer relations. I believe that by expanding the group of the Declaration’s signatories, we can change the perception of the industry and provide customers with a sense of security.

Self-regulations contained in the Responsible Sales Declaration include: raising and disseminating ethical standards in customer relations, honest business dialogue with consumers, education of business and retail customers, increasing trust in the entire industry, improving its image. The Declaration is also intended to serve as a source of knowledge about the highest standards in finance.

Aims of the Responsible Sales Declaration:

  • increasing the positive impact of the financial industry on the environment,
  • building relationships with consumers and business and thus enabling them to better serve society and the economy,
  • simplification of the sales process and consideration of the needs of vulnerable groups,
  • ensuring the safety of services,
  • educating the public about finances and banking products,
  • counteracting dishonest practices and reacting quickly when they are detected,
  • recommending institutions which sell their products and services responsibly.

Any financial institution may sign the Declaration, except those for which a warning was issued by the PFSA, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection or another authorised entity. If you wish to sign the Declaration, you need to contact the Consumer Federation. The next step is to undergo a pre-audit conducted by an independent auditing company, KPMG. The acceptance of a new signatory is decided by the Declaration Council based on the results of the audit. Every company which signs the Declaration must renew it every 12 months, undergoing subsequent audits. In the event of a negative annual audit result or failure to submit to an audit, the institution loses the right to use the Declaration mark.

The initiators of the Responsible Sales Declaration project are ANG Spółdzielnia, Bank BNP Paribas and Santander Bank Polska. The project auditor is KPMG.

For more information about the principles listed in the Responsible Sales Declaration, the responsibilities of signatories and tips for those who wish to join the project, visit the website.

Protection of customer privacy

We attach great importance to security and trust in all banking processes. We use the latest technological solutions to protect the sensitive data of our clients.

Security at Bank BNP Paribas:

  • Safe user – we inform our clients about the basic security requirements related to protecting their identity.
  • Safe Bank – we care about the security of the Bank’s systems and of applications used by clients. At the same time, we provide (i.a. through audits) the highest level of online banking security. Electronic banking is regularly audited by external, independent organisations.
  • Secure card – the Bank makes every effort to secure customers’ payment cards and operations carried out with cards. We promote knowledge about safe behaviours which minimise the risk of unauthorised card transactions.
  • Secure phone – we show clients how to ensure the security of mobile devices.

Find out more at the Bank’s website.

In e-transaction processes we use data encryption and additional digital methods of customer verification. Our tool ensuring the security of electronic transactions is Trusteer Rapport – advanced IBM software which provides protection against the theft of electronically transmitted banking data. The tool is recommended as an additional layer of protection which complements the anti-virus or security software used by the client. According to statistics, the software is performing well. None of the Bank’s customers who decided to install it was the victim of an effective hacker attack on their computer.

Find out more at the Bank’s website.

Customer experience

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„We listen, we understand, we act” – this is the slogan of the Bank’s day-to-day operations and our motto for strategies related to customer experience management.

Małgorzata Kamińska Director of Customer Experience Management at BNP Paribas Bank Polska SA

What are the expectations of today’s customers? They expect primarily: friendly channels of service, fast and simple processes, professional, friendly advisors. Why? Because, like us, our clients opt for simple solutions which allow them to act intuitively when they want to be self-sufficient, and expect easily accessible help if they need it. Thus, they devote the optimum amount of time to financial issues and time is the primary currency of our times.

Listening to the clients’ voice

  • We analyse customer opinions which are expressed in internal and external surveys.
  • We conduct analyses of operational data and observe market trends (not only in the field of banking), which gives us the opportunity for continuous development.

Our customer opinion analyses are supported by the entire BNP Paribas Group as part of the international Advocacy Program. The latter ensures that the customer-oriented profile of our organization is maintained, through both client- and employee-oriented initiatives.

Thanks to the #KLIENT platform, employees have easy access to research results, and thus to the real voice of the client. Currently, about 6,000 employees use the tool, and the data is updated on a regular basis with knowledge from research surveys.

The NPS (Net Promoter Score) satisfaction survey gives clients an opportunity to assess their contacts with the Bank by asking them how likely they are to recommend the Bank to their loved ones. In addition, during the assessment, customers can freely submit their comments, observations, suggestions, expectations or recommendations regarding service, products, procedures or fees. The results are analyzed in great detail and are used to introduce appropriate improvements or eliminate obstacles, and consequently to meet the needs and expectations of customers. NPS research carried out at Bank BNP Paribas is part of the Customer Advocacy program.

In 2019, we carried out new types of analyses. In addition to asking customers about the overall image of the Bank, we also asked about specific processes – e.g. the onboarding process.

Currently, NPS research is carried out at various intervals in over 10 of the Bank’s departments. It is a source of invaluable input into making decisions regarding product and process development. We conduct between 8,000 and 12,000 surveys per month. They contain customer opinions about our products and the services we provide. The primary method for conducting these surveys are telephone interviews, but we also employ digital channels and qualitative research (e.g. in-depth interviews with selected customer groups and user-tests before implementing new tools or adding products to our offer). We analyse opinions in both retail banking (including Premium and Wealth Management), in the segment of micro-enterprises, SMEs and corporate banking.

As regards NPS research, at beginning of 2019 the research model for the combined Bank underwent unification. We wanted to obtain data enabling us to provide the best experience in the merged Banks.

The NPS Customer Satisfaction Survey results for 2019 indicate that customer satisfaction with banking services is at a good level. Our strategic goal for the future is to be among the TOP 3 banks most frequently recommended by customers.

Analysis of operational data

Speech Analytics is a very helpful tool in analyzing operational data. The system allows, e.g. for the categorization of conversation topics and their quantification. It enables us to find aspects of our products, services and communication which need to be improved.

Customer Excellence Board

In May 2019, we launched an interdisciplinary dialogue platform called the Customer Excellence Board. We use
it to talk about the Voice of the Customer at individual customer contact points with the Bank. These are meetings attended by representatives of selected departments, who represent sales channels, products, the communication department as well as compliance monitoring, risk and operations, or IT.

The meetings take place every two month and include:

  • the presentation and monitoring of results and operations,
  • reaching decisions about key changes and priorities.

The Customer Room is another form of client-oriented dialogue within our organisation. At the meetings, we work on the most complex issues, in accordance with the Design Thinking methodology.

During the workshops, we discuss the stories of our clients – positive and negative – striving to create the best experience. Participants represent all the structures which are part of a given process. A verity of specialists provide multiple perspectives on a given issue and gradually develop optimal solutions: both long-term and „quick wins”.

Responding to customer needs

The two final stages of the Bank merger were a major challenge in 2019. We needed to ensure correct, consistent and effective customer service in circumstances such as:

  • the unification of branches,
  • the implementation of a single service standard,
  • system and migration changes,
  • the standardisation of processes and procedures.

We also simplified some processes related to customer service, including the introduction of contracts which can be concluded without the client’s physical presence in the branch. We have introduced new products and services, such as the Account Open to You. We have also implemented further self-service solutions, e.g., customers are now able to generate and reset the PIN for debit and credit cards in GOonline electronic banking.

In addition to standard complaint structures, Bank BNP Paribas has a Customer Ombudsman. The function is within the area of responsibility of the Director of the Customer Experience Management. It creates an internal possibility of appeal for customers who have doubts about the decision regarding their complaint. The Customer Ombudsman also considers matters reported to him directly by the Bank’s Management Board, the Supervisory Board, the Bank’s Spokesperson, as well as important matters raised in social media. The Customer Ombudsman ensures customer satisfaction and open dialogue. He represents clients’ interests in dealing with the Bank and acts as an intermediary in the resolution of problems.

In 2019, the Customer Ombudsman received almost 3,000 cases.

The complaint process is handled by the Bank’s Customer Experience Management Department. Thus, we can optimally respond to all information received from customers through various input channels (complaints among them). As a result, we have gained a better and more comprehensive understanding of the voice of our customers. We intend to use the information obtained from various departments primarily to improve our services, and thus to prevent complaints.

The complaint handling process is monitored both qualitatively and quantitatively. We also control the quality of responses sent to customers. We assess their clarity and completeness: they need to be clear and legible as well as minimise the number of appeals.

In connection with the incorporation of Raiffeisen Bank Polska’s core business in the structure of Bank BNP Paribas, in 2019 we started changes in the area of complaints. Their completion is planned for 2020. We reviewed the entire complaint process for the merged Bank, which became operational when the banking systems were standardised. The cooperation of all process stakeholders has resulted in the development of over 30 solutions which will improve the quality of the process. In addition, in cooperation with an UX team, we defined business requirements for a new IT tool. It will handle all customer inquiries that are directed to the Bank. The new solution will significantly affect response time.

The standards for handling and responding to complaints are set out in the Complaints Policy.

Customers can submit complaints in a way which is most convenient to them:

  • via the online banking system (chat),
  • via a form on the website,
  • via telephone
  • in written form,
  • in person – at any Bank branch.

Since November 2019, i.e. since the full system merger after the acquisition of the core business of Raiffeisen Bank Polska S.A., the number of monthly complaints has increased slightly. Customer complaints concerned primarily loans, debit cards and credit cards.

In 2019, we recorded 114,217 complaints. Their number was significantly affected by a temporary issue with: the calculation of fees for payment cards, the commencement of fees for personal accounts if the conditions for fee exemption were not met, and the CJEU’s decision regarding the reimbursement of costs incurred in the event of an early repayment of a loan.

Customers complained primarily about the fees and commissions for accounts and payment cards. Due to the CJEU decision, the Bank also noted an increase in complaints related to loans (mainly cash). To a lesser extent, customer complaints concerned remote contact channels.

The migration of Raiffeisen Bank Polska S.A. systems to BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. systems took place without major problems and without an excessive increase in the number of complaints directly related to this event.

The average waiting time for a response to a complaint was 10.8 business days. In some months, the waiting period was shortened to c. 9 business days, however, various activities aimed at developing optimal solutions for our clients (including the operational merger and related reorganisation ) resulted in a longer response time in the last quarter of 2019.

In 2019, an internal campaign entitled “The Same” was carried out at Bank BNP Paribas. The campaign supported the QUALITY commitment of the Strategy Fast Forward and motivated employees to consider what could be done to minimise the number of negative signals coming from customers.

It is people that build the customer experience. That is why it is so important to promote commitment and client-orientation among our employees. We treat our clients the way we would like to be treated. We understand that customers expect to be heard, wish to be understood and want their matters to be handled quickly. We therefore pay attention to the naturalness of conversations, to the competences and credibility of advisers at our branches and consultants in the Contact Center. We want to create a friendly, intuitive and transparent Bank.

In order for our employees to understand the priorities and be up to date with the Customers’ Voice, we provide them with access to the #KLIENT result platform. We also periodically communicate with employees who handle direct service through the “3 minutes for quality” training series. We prepare materials in the form of texts, animations or movies. We invited employees of our Bank to participate in the production of video materials which made the series even more popular.

Compliance with laws and regulations

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In 2019:

  • there were no incidents of non-compliance with laws or regulations in the social, environmental and economic areas in the Bank or in the Bank’s Capital Group.
  • there was 1 (unfinished) legal and administrative proceeding pending against the Bank and the Bank’s Capital Group regarding behaviours violating the freedom of competition or antitrust laws.
  • the Bank noted 1 case of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes regarding marketing communications, which was initiated and completed in the same year and resulted in the imposition of a fine or penalty.
  • the Bank received complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy and data loss, in total: 44 cases of leakage, theft or other customer data loss. 63 cases were noted in the Bank’s Capital Group.

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