Annual report 2019

Availability of products and services

Increasing the availability of products and services is one of the twelve commitments set out in the CSR Strategy of the Bank. We therefore strive to adapt our products and services to the needs of the disabled, the elderly and groups at risk of exclusion. The new branch design, which is a part of the strategy, provides customer orientation as well as a digital transformation of products, services and processes.

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Maciej Chlebowski Director of the Branch Network Development and Transformation Department at BNP Paribas Bank Polska SA

Increasing the availability of products and services is one of the Bank’s many commitments under the CSR Strategy of the Bank. In May 2018, we announced the “Fast Forward” strategy, whose main premise is customer focus and the digital transformation of products, services and processes. Therefore, our goal is to provide customers with greater accessibility and convenience. We will continue to transform our branches (with the preferences of our customers in mind) while at the same time ensuring the best working conditions for our employees.

While ensuring the availability of the Bank’s products and services, we:

  • take into account the needs of the disabled, the elderly, as well as groups at risk of exclusion in current and planned operations,
  • adapt the Bank’s digital channels to accessibility standards,
  • remove accessibility barriers at our facilities and prevent the emergence of new ones owing to a new branch design which meets the needs of those with limited mobility (confirmed by the certificate „Facility without barriers”),
  • publish information regarding our operations, products and services in a form accessible to persons with disabilities and difficulties in reception,
  • provide access to products and services for people from groups at risk of exclusion, e.g. the elderly and citizens
    of Ukraine.

To ensure full access to our services for people with special needs, on November 20, 2019, we introduced new versions of our document templates: audio recordings, video recordings in Polish sign language, enlarged prints and translations into Braille (the latter were introduced on January 1, 2019). We continue our efforts to implement further facilities for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. We thus meet the requirements of the Act of July 19, 2019 on ensuring accessibility for people with special needs.

As at December 31, 2019, the Bank had 514 retail and business banking branches (this includes 20 partner branches).

The branch network is supported by 18 Wealth Management Centres (formerly: Private Banking Centres). The retail network is supported by 36 credit points located in shopping centres.

Banking products and services dedicated to corporate customers were sold by 50 SME Business Centres, operating within 8 SME Banking Regional Branches. In the largest Polish centres of industry and services, the Bank has 25 Corporate Business Centers operating within 9 Regional Corporate Business Centers.

At the end of December 2019, the Bank had a network of 417 cash deposit machines (double-function devices) and 239 Bank BNP Paribas ATMs.

In 2019, we continued the transformation of the Bank’s branches. The aims were to adapt the facilities to the needs of customers as well as to continue the digital transformation of our products, services and processes.
As a result, 142 branches of the Bank were digitized and redesigned.

The redesigned branches feature a number of solutions which improve service, including:

  • nowoczesne recyklery z funkcją wpłaty i wypłaty zbliżeniowo oraz przy użyciu opcji BLIK, umożliwiające całodobowe przeprowadzanie transakcji gotówkowych;
  • modern recyclers which allow contactless deposits and withdrawals as well as BLIK operations and thus provide 24-hour access to cash transactions.
  • instant issuing allows customers to receive a card for their account right away in selected branches.
  • free WiFi allows customers to use the GOmobile banking application.
  • tablets are provided at branches, allowing customers to log in to the GOonline electronic banking system.

Selected digitized branches have a comfortable area for meetings with a consultant, as well as coworking zones, where you can work undisturbed and have access to a printer. Our clients can also use conference rooms
for business meetings.

Branches are child-friendly, which allows adults to comfortably use the Bank’s offer. The branches are an open, modern and ecological space. The main motif is a tree.

In connection with the merger of Bank BNP Paribas and Raiffeisen Bank Polska, it was necessary to merge and adjust branches. By December 16, 2019, 176 branches had been merged.

Bank branches as meeting places

The Bank’s branches – especially those which have already been redesigned – are not only comfortable and modern workplaces for our clients, but are also a space where we promote art, culture, eco-friendly attitudes and broadly understood development.

The flagship branch is Centrum Marszałkowska in Warsaw, located in the building of the former „Sesame” Department Store. We organize regular „Open Sesame” events and invite representatives of various art forms. Guests included writers: Mariusz Szczygieł, Anna Kamińska, Marcin Wicha, Wojciech Kuczok and Agata Passent, Joanna Bator, actress Magdalena Cielecka, as well as directors: Agnieszka Holland and Olga Hajdas. The events, initially devoted to literature, eventually became a place for discussions on a variety of topics; the initiative also spread to other cities in Poland.

Furthermore, we organised regular meetings as part of the BNP Paribas Talks project. Bank branches throughout Poland are spaces where the Bank’s Local Ambassadors conduct entrepreneurship workshops for children and youth, as well as meetings for seniors. This brings us closer to local communities and allows us to inspire their members.

For a description of the BNP Paribas Talks project as well as descriptions of selected events, see the subchapter: Important social topics in marketing communications.

In January 2019, we introduced special facilities for the blind and visually impaired. Customers can order Braille translations of contract templates for basic retail products at branches or via hotline. All branches are equipped with frames which facilitate the signing of contracts and with magnifying screens. In cooperation with the blind athlete Joanna Mazur, we published a series of materials explaining how the branches of Bank BNP Paribas are prepared to offer services to the visually impaired.

In December 2019, we introduced a solution which allows blind customers to access content posted on our social media. The graphics published on Facebook will be described with the needs of the blind and visually impaired
in mind.

The Bank is working on implementing a voice function in ATMs and cash deposit machines, thus enabling people with sight disabilities to use them with headphones and a Braille button.

At the end of 2019, 28 branches of the Bank had the „Institutions without barriers” certificates, which attest that they are accessible to people with disabilities. More branches are in the process of audit and certification.

The certificate is awarded by the Integration Foundation to institutions that have implemented facilities for people
in wheelchairs, with mobility impairments, the blind, the visually impaired and the deaf. The institutions also need
to be adapted to the needs of the elderly and parents/guardians of young children. A person moving in a wheelchair needs to be able to access all the services available to other customers. Further solutions introduced in our branches include, i.a. high visibility transparent elements for the visually impaired people, width of doors and partitions adapted to the needs of people with mobility problems, access to ATMs and their appropriate adjustment.

For more information about the certification process, visit: .

Partnerships for accessibility

We appreciate seniors and adapt our facilities to their needs.

Accessibility Leader Award 2019

Barbara Stęchły Managing Director of Sales at BNP Paribas Bank Polska SA

According to CSO data, there are currently more 60+ citizens in Poland than there are children and adolescents. In 2025 there will be almost 3 million more representatives of the 60+ segment than representatives of the young generation. We pay close attention to the world around us, listen to the expectations of our customers and respect their diversity. We are changing to respond optimally to the needs of all social groups, in particular those at risk of exclusion. We are very pleased that our efforts are appreciated by customers and the market. The quality and standards of service as well as architectural solutions in the branches of Bank BNP Paribas have been recognised, among others by the jury of Accessibility Leader Award 2019; they have also received the OK SENIOR® certificate. What makes the award even more valuable is the fact that we were the first financial institution to receive it. Our efforts, however, do not focus solely on our branches. We want to be a driving force of change, that is why we are involved in the life of local communities. In 2019, the Bank's Local Ambassadors spent 5,000 hours supporting the development of various local initiatives.

On May 8, 2019 Bank BNP Paribas received the Accessibility Leader 2019 award in the “branch network” category. The reward was a token of appreciation for the Bank’s efforts to introduce a uniform branch design and a policy which focuses on the customer and his needs (regardless of age and mobility level) rather than on procedures. The jury appreciated the architectural solutions implemented in the Bank’s branches, the gradual modernization of branches, as well as the service standards developed and implemented by the Bank for people with disabilities.

Bank BNP Paribas is the only Bank that has received this award for its active efforts to increase accessibility.

Find out more about the award

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We appreciate seniors and adapt our facilities to their needs. We became a partner of Krajowy Instytut Gospodarki Senioralnej, and in 2019 we received the OK SENIOR® quality certificate as the first financial institution in Poland.
It is a certification program for personnel, products and services addressed to seniors, and it attests that senior (60+) clients are served with the following principles in mind:

  • SAFE – facilities meet the highest security standards,
  • INTELLIGIBLE – during the conversation, consultants verify whether the client can hear them well, use accessible language, offer pen and paper for note-taking, print materials in a larger font,
  • ACCESSIBLE – facilities are easily accessible,
  • meeting the NEEDS – responding to the real needs of seniors, protecting them against abuse.

The certification was preceded by an audit carried out by Senior Auditors. It covered infrastructure, interior design, senior customer service processes, queue management and internal quality standards of the Bank.

The certificate motivates us to continue the improvements and to further adapt the facilities in terms of accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities. It also confirms that we have reached our goal of maintaining service standards that allow seniors to feel safe under the professional care of advisers in the Bank’s branches.

Find out more

In 2018, we joined the Partnership for Accessibility program developed by the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development, as part of the  Accessibility Plus initiative. The signatories of the document commit to the idea of accessibility and equal treatment, and aim to level opportunities and access for all citizens to the physical, social, and cultural environment, as well as to recreation, leisure, sports, healthcare, education, work, transport, information and communication. Our goal is to adapt our products and services to the needs of people with disabilities and special needs, as well as to the needs of the elderly and those from excluded groups.

Detailed information about the program:

We are a partner of the Accessible ATM project, whose aim is to counteract social and digital exclusion by eliminating restrictions and increasing access to financial services. The Accessible ATM project includes a freely accessible online platform with a database of ATMs adapted to the needs of people with various disabilities. Providing them with information on ATMs – their location and types of adaptations – enables people with disabilities to be active
and independent.

The project is implemented by the Polish Bank Association, in cooperation with banks and the Widzialni Foundation, with the support and under the patronage of the National Bank of Poland and the Ministry of Entrepreneurship
and Technology.

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