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"Regarding the Far East, I remain an optimist"

Chairman of the Far-Eastern Bank of Sberbank Dmitry Sukhoverkhov on the macroregion and improvement of the team

A year ago, Dmitry Sukhoverkhov headed the Far Eastern Bank of Sberbank, having previously worked in the banks of several regions of the country. EastRussia asked the top manager what this year was for him personally and for the Far Eastern banking market in general, and what to expect the Far East from the coming years in the areas of digitalization, business support and mortgage.

- A year has passed since your appointment to the position of chairman of the Far-Eastern Bank of Sberbank. Can you assess - how the team, how the sensations?
- For me, this is not the first territorial bank of Sberbank, and not the first region - I managed to work almost all over Russia. I can say that the level of Sberbank in general is quite high, and the differences between the territories are "cosmetic". I basically had quite high expectations from the team of the Far-Eastern Bank, because it developed dynamically. And these expectations were justified. And, in addition, you can not dislike the team you lead - otherwise you're a bad leader. The task of the manager is to pull up some of the employees to a level, find the best positions for someone, more appropriate to their competence, and maybe with someone to part. And this is a quickly customizable process, as Sberbank in general has a very good base. 
- In other words, can you say that you built your team?
- It is impossible to say so unequivocally, because the conditions in the modern world are constantly changing, and hence the requirements for the team. And we have to get better every day. There is a good formula, it is confirming: the 1,01 number in 365 degree is almost 38, but 0,99 in 365 degree is practically zero. However, in this formula, I would replace the 365-th degree by 250-y - by the number of working days per year, but it should be improved every working day, not jerks. My expectations from the team are that it will constantly improve. 
- How do your employees have time to improve - the team is big, and the work of all is very intense?  
- If you strive for development and growth, if it is interesting to achieve results, if you do not come to work to wait for your working day to end, I think Sberbank is one of the best places. You rightly noted that we have one of the largest teams in the Far East. And this is a trump card in terms of career growth: for each position we have built career "lifts". And our people are growing fast enough as professionals. Sberbank is a very good place to start because it lays the foundations for professional development. We have one of the best employee training systems in the world. 
"But you have to work very hard for this, do not you?"
- If you want to work it was easy - it's probably not about the 21-th century. We are very attentive to recycling - yes, they are, but we control them, and they decrease annually. But the employer in the current conditions always wants to get results. Work is half of our life, in which you do not sleep, and life is one - so that you have to choose only the work that you like. And very well formulated this idea, Steve Jobs: "We need to work not 24 hours, and the head." Measure work is not in hours, minutes and working days, but in the results achieved. And in management, the achievement of the result is not necessarily the gnawing of granite around the clock. It is more the formation of decisions and innovations that do not come in the mode of physical and moral exhaustion. And I watch, that it was not and my employees. The result is always teamwork, and any "hacker" pulls back his team. 
- How do you control the well-being of the staff?
- There are two main indicators: staff turnover and engagement. Turnover is the number of layoffs per year. If people feel bad, they don't like it, they vote with their feet. Over the past five years, staff turnover has been declining, and this is no longer a problem. Previously, there was a question of staffing, now, in order to get to any position of Sberbank, you need to wait. The second important metric is employee satisfaction. We conduct relevant surveys every year, and we do it extremely conservatively: we discard the questionnaires that were filled out faster than a certain time, and "cut off" the maximum and pre-maximum results. This gives, we believe, a real assessment. 
- And what is this estimate?
- At the end of last year almost 6000 employees of the Far Eastern Bank took part in the survey. 83% of employees are proud to work in our bank, 85% - consider their work interesting. In general, the engagement index is at a fairly high level and is 74%. More than 80% of employees know well what skills and competencies they need to develop, and more than 70% believe they have an attractive package of corporate benefits. 83% agree that the employees of Sberbank are focused on providing high-quality service to the internal and external client.
- It's all about work, and in the organization of leisure the bank helps?
- We are engaged, of course, not only with work. Every year sports Sberbankiads are held, one winter, one summer, and each discipline has gradations for ages - this is a built culture of physical development. By the way, any Sberbank employee can go to our gym for free, and for team sports we rent gyms, where Sberbankiada participants also train for free. This is how we form a team in the Far East that defends the honor of the region at the all-bank Sberbankiada. Every year, the Green Marathon is held at several venues - this is an important event for us, a holiday not only for employees and customers, but also for residents of the entire region. We hold many family events - quests, fun starts, nature trips, teambuildings in an unusual format. For example, in Kamchatka, employees arranged a joint ascent to a volcano, raft down the river together with the team of one of the companies - our client.
"It's for the body." And for the mind?
- Much attention is paid to self-development of employees, and not only professional skills. For example, we have a program called "Savings Bank for Children and Parents", which includes the development of parental competencies, vocational guidance and financial literacy for children. And the project "Dialogue with an expert" gives an opportunity for each employee to act as a lecturer and tell colleagues about his talents and unique competencies (such as design, work in the securities market, positioning in social networks, development of writing skills, etc.).

Top-management of the bank forms a selection of the best books, of which the "Library of the Savings Bank" is made - I think you heard about it. In the series there is not only financial and management literature, but also popular science - for the overall development of any manager and employee. 
- Do you read a lot?
- Personally, I read at least two books a quarter, and if the vacation, then more, and a much wider range than the "Library of the Savings Bank." I try to always exchange opinions about what I have read with colleagues and clients. I am sure that it is impossible to achieve a result, if you do not develop every day - the world is so dynamic, and knowledge becomes so obsolete. And without a constant development in the financial sphere, it is impossible to become successful. 
- Do you have enough time for sports?
- Yes. I am engaged in table tennis and tennis and I consider sports an integral part of active life.
- In your estimation, 2017 year was successful for the Far Eastern Bank?
- According to the results of the annual review competition in the Sberbank system, the Far Eastern Bank took the second place among the territorial banks. It's very honorable. And it is very important that this result was achieved by the normal, measured work of the whole team - our work does not involve any heroic deeds, it is just a daily satisfaction of the needs of millions of customers. We still consider key lending for individuals and legal entities to be key markets, and by and large we have succeeded in 2017. 

- Is it possible to express this in figures?
- At 1 January 2018, the Far Eastern Bank occupied 36,3% of the volume of the lending market for legal entities, 45,9% - individuals, we accounted for 32,3% of liabilities of companies and 51,7% of private liabilities. The retail block overcame the bar in 237 thousand of loans extended for more than 94 billion rubles, which is more than 38% higher than the indicators of 2016 year. The loan portfolio of private customers for the year increased by 25,9 billion rubles and amounted to 209,2 billion rubles. The loan portfolio of corporate clients increased by 26,9 billion rubles - this is 10,4% growth - and amounted to 285,6 billion rubles. The share of long-term, investment loans aimed at financing many of the most important projects in the Far Eastern region amounted to 17% in the total portfolio. The loan portfolio of small business is 21,3 billion rubles. At the service in the Far Eastern Savings Bank is about 75 thousand customers of this segment, more than 6,5 thousand customers we are lending. The total amount of credit to micro and small business in 2017 increased by 81,1% and amounted to 18,6 billion rubles. In general, we laid the foundation for the 2018 year to become even more successful.
- A new strategy for the development of Sberbank was adopted before the year 2020. In short, what is its meaning?
- The main goal now is to understand the place of our teams in the strategy, to correctly determine the priority tasks, to bring them to their employees. The Strategy-2020 has ambitious goals. The first digit "20" means an increase in 20% of the ROE (return on equity of the company). The next two is: getting 1 trillion of profit plus 1 trillion of dividends paid. And the last zero is a zero chance of failure, and I am convinced that for the team of the Far Eastern Bank this is 100% for success. 
We will continue to work on creating an ecosystem that will cover all areas of life that meet the needs of our customers. Among the already existing areas: the service for the selection of housing "DomKlik", the platform of telemedicine DocDoc, the joint with the Yandex marketplaces "Beru!", The online cashier "Evotor", the operator of the cellular communication "Let's Talk" and others.

The most important thing in the 2020 strategy is that it is a continuation of the previous strategy, and therefore nothing revolutionary suggests. Our traditional banking financial business will remain a priority for the next three years. The new strategy is extremely ambitious in terms of numbers, but many investors did not believe that the previous strategy will be executed in time - and we succeeded, and it is ahead of schedule. This gives confidence that the current goals will be achieved. We strive to improve the client experience both in financial and in other spheres of people's lives. It is important for us to maintain technological leadership - safe and innovative services will be further developed. But all these plans will be realized on the condition that we become people of a new quality, develop the actual competencies and learn how to create in effective teams, leaving the hierarchy in the past. Today, such competencies as systemic thinking, results management and self-management, innovation, digital skills, client-centeredness and teamwork are important.
- You are talking about innovative services. How can you assess the degree of digitalization of the banking business in the Far East? 
- In general, Russia in terms of the development of digital banking is ahead of both Europe and the United States. It so happened: the young banking markets in the development of new products went slightly faster than the developed Western markets. For us, a bank check is a museum exhibit, and there this product takes a share of the market. My colleagues from foreign banks are surprised at the fullness of the service that our online application provides, and the number of mobile transfers within our banks. So the share of payments in electronic services in Russia is higher than in traditional banking markets. And in the Far East this indicator is higher than the average Russian. It is due to the fact that there are obstacles to the development of physical banking, for us the share of electronic payments is higher. But this reason is no longer the main one. The fact is that people in the Far East have already got used to paying from a smartphone - this is the easiest and quickest way to satisfy the need for banking services. Therefore, the dynamic development of "numbers" is following the need of customers.
- How big is the share of non-cash payments in the region?
- Non-cash turnover on the debit cards of Sberbank in the Far Eastern Bank exceeded 60%. Given that in 2012 year 70% of the turnover of funds originally received on bank cards was cashed and only 8% was the share of non-cash payments.

The figures for the issue of bank cards are also indicative: over five years the portfolio of bank cards grew by 67% and amounted to more than 5,3 million cards, and it can be said that practically every economically active Far East has a bank card of Sberbank. 
- How common is the contactless payment in the Far East? 
- The past year as a whole can be called a landmark for the technology of contactless payments - Sberbank customers have the opportunity to add their credit and debit cards to the services of Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay. In 2017 the same year, Sberbank began to implement a transport project in the Far East. So, the terminals of the Savings Bank for non-cash payment of travel in public transport appeared in the Amur Region, Kamchatka and Khabarovsk Territories. In Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the first project in the Far East of Russia was implemented where all modern means of non-cash payment for travel are simultaneously being introduced on all public transport: by means of contactless bank cards of international payment systems, smartphones and other mobile devices supporting mobile payment services, as well as electronic transport cards. Passengers can pay for travel with the help of contactless bank cards of any issuing bank, and also with the help of Sberbank services to replenish the balance of transport cards. Now we are implementing transport acquiring on Sakhalin.
- Is Union Pay used by Chinese citizens supported?
- Yes, in 2017, Sberbank began to service UnionPay cards in its acquiring network and self-service devices. To date, the main volume of operations on UnionPay cards in Russia is formed by tourists coming from the PRC and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The ability to service UnionPay cards on Sberbank's terminal equipment is a key factor in strengthening trade relations between Russia and China. In the Far East, the readiness of the network of acquiring devices of Sberbank to accept cards of this payment system is 100%. For 2017-th year through the terminals of the Far-Eastern Savings Bank more than 60 thousand transactions for the amount of about 260 million rubles were conducted. The most active operations are carried out in the Primorsky Territory, in the Amur Region and in the Khabarovsk Territory (mostly UnionPay cards are paid in the hotel and tourist industry, in stores selling food, luxury goods, jewelery and clothing, and in consumer electronics stores).
- Digitalization has another important aspect - payments should be safe. How should the interaction in the bank-client chain be built to manage, let's say, without losses?
- We are the country's flagship in the development of digital banking technology due to economies of scale: many products are the first to appear in Sberbank, we have the most serious customer base. Of course, that's why we are an attractive target for hackers who are always trying to get close to our systems. But if the user himself observes the basic, elementary security rules - does not transfer data about his logins and passwords, PIN-codes to third parties, - it is practically impossible to break the bank. All known cases of bank fraud with the funds of individuals and legal entities in Sberbank are always stories about violation of safety rules for using digital devices. Of course, there are cases of fraud against bank customers, although they have become less: the financial and digital literacy of the population has increased. Sberbank very carefully examines every case of loss of the client's money, and in many cases makes a decision to compensate, even if the client has violated some rules - understanding their responsibility. 
- Continued development of "ecosystems" for customers - is this also a strategy priority?
- Of course. Sberbank will continue to develop an "ecosystem" of real estate, within which clients and partners are offered not just a mortgage for buying an apartment, but a set of related services. We launched the project "DomKlik": through this site and mobile application, any client can apply and get a solution for a mortgage application using a smartphone anytime, anywhere. In addition, the application allows you to track the stages of the transaction, exchange documents and communicate with your mortgage manager. In 2017 year on the site "DomKlik" 9786 real estate objects of the Far East were presented. With the help of "DomKlika" real estate sold about 75% of real estate agencies in the Far East region, with the help of the service was realized about 20% of transactions of Sberbank customers in the Far East. 

Also, the joint service of Sberbank and Rosreestr "Electronic Registration" is gaining more and more popularity, which allows home buyers to register an agreement with the seller online - this is especially convenient for clients when making interregional transactions (they do not need to travel to another city for this). The process of submitting documents for registration at the time of signing takes 10-15 minutes. The bank prepares the necessary package of documents and sends it for registration to Rosreestr. In 50, more than 2017% of transactions were made by clients of the Far Eastern Bank using the electronic real estate registration service, and 75% - using the secure settlements service. Moreover, this service is available not only to clients of a bank with a mortgage, but also to everyone who is going to buy an apartment for cash.

In addition, we launched the service "Electronic Assessment", through which you can remotely order an appraisal of the property purchased in the mortgage of Sberbank,
- And in general, the volume of mortgage transactions grow?
- In August, 2017 Sberbank announced the largest ever decrease in the rates of housing loans for the purchase of apartments in new buildings and on the secondary market, down to 15% of the loan amount of the initial contribution. At the beginning of the year we launched the "Mortgage with state support for families with children" with a preferential rate of 6% per annum - the rate is valid for three years for Russians who had a second child in the period from 1 January 2018 on 31 December 2022, and five years in the birth of a third child in the same period. Against this background, the demand for mortgages has reached a new level and exceeds the pre-crisis level. For 2017 year recorded a record issue in comparison with the periods of previous years: issued about 41,5 billion rubles, this is 64% more than a year earlier. The increased demand is due to the fact that the ratio of rates and prices for real estate - the most profitable in the history of mortgages in Russia.

In 2018, Sberbank continues work on increasing the availability of housing for Russians and reduced mortgage rates for primary housing. The minimum mortgage rate from the developer is now 6,7% per annum - this is a new record low rate available to a wide range of clients.
- Last year, an "ecosystem" for people of the older generation "Active Age", uniting banking and non-banking services. What else is new for customers?
- In 2017, Sberbank launched the "Business Class" - it is a free program for the development of micro and small businesses. To date, more than 10 000 residents of the Far East have participated in the project. The course is based on hands-on training with experienced experts and mentors who help entrepreneurs to bring the existing business to a new level or to open a company from scratch. The project combines online training and full-time workshops. Sberbank acquired a controlling stake in, one of the leaders of the Russian digital medicine market. And this is an important step in building digital ecosystems: is already the leader in the online record market for the doctor, and as the legislative regulation in the field of digital medical services continues to develop, the company plans to become a full-fledged e-health platform that will integrate such services as telemedicine, medical card, second opinion, drug delivery. 
- What is the role of the bank in supporting the development of the Far East?
- A significant part of our investments goes to support the economy of the macroregion. We support the project of infrastructural development of the Vladivostok port territory, the development of the fishing industry, housing construction. On the territory of the Far Eastern Federal District, Sberbank and SME Corporation JSC are implementing the 6,5 program, in which the maximum rate limit is no more than 10,6% per annum, the amount of financing is from 5 million rubles. In 2017, Sberbank clients chose the 6,5 program to finance investment projects. In 2018, the minimum amount of financing changed, now it is 3 million rubles. - this step will expand the client base. We are also implementing a concessional lending program for the purchase of equipment manufactured in the Republic of Belarus, which allows us to reduce the rate of loans for the purchase of equipment to 5%, and a concessional program together with the Ministry of Economic Development with a final rate for the borrower of 6,5% for all segments of small and medium-sized businesses.

In general, we can say that the mechanisms for supporting SMEs organizations have shown their effectiveness and the situation in the business lending market has improved. Analysis of the dynamics shows that clients are interested in attracting cheaper financing. In 2017, the bank issued 55,2 billion rubles under SME soft loans, including the "Affordable Credit for SMEs" program, implemented by the bank jointly with the Far East Development Fund and the Baikal Region and the 6,5 Program.
- Will you make forecasts about business activity?
- 2018 will differ from the previous year in that the mechanism of investment quotas in the fishing industry is entering the stage of implementation - these are projects worth tens of billions of rubles. Our bank takes an active part in this process. In connection with such events, it is possible to predict a significant inflow of investments in the form of bank loans to finance the construction of ships, fish processing plants in the coastal zone and the creation of the necessary infrastructure. In general, the end of last year and the beginning of the current one can be called a period of "maturation" of those business ideas that arose in the Far East back in 2013-2014. Projects for the extraction of coal, metals and the creation of separate industries aimed at export to the Asia-Pacific countries are underway.     
- Do you keep an optimistic view of the future of the Far East?
- I continue to remain an optimist. A year ago, I said that I see excellent horizons, and this is actually realized: the pace of development of the Far East is ahead of the average in the country. I think this will continue, and we will continue to grow slightly faster than the country - thanks to the state for additional development tools. And this gives us, employees of the Far-Eastern Bank of Sberbank, an excuse to hope that our territorial bank will grow slightly faster than banks in the Sberbank system in other territories. 
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