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Marijana Vasilescu, President Of The Executive Board, Sberbank

A Link Between Serbia And Russia

Sberbank, one of the strongest banking groups in the world, surpasses its competitors in recognition and reputation, and for offering the most modern digital services

With intensive development, expansion of its portfolio and rising quality, Sberbank Serbia will continue in the coming period, and digitalisation will be the main tool to make its services even more accessible to all its clients.

At the beginning of the year, Brand Finance declared Sberbank the strongest banking brand in the world. What is the key to this success?

The main reason for this prestigious recognition is definitely the fact that despite all the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, our banking group has continued its stable and extremely successful business with a strong expansion.

According to Brand Finance, an international brand valuation agency, Sberbank is today one of the strongest banking groups in the world, constantly surpassing its competitors in both the recognition and reputation of the Sber brand, and in innovation and offering the most modern digital services that are increasingly becoming one of the key advantages and market strengths of Sberbank. Sberbank Russia is today the largest bank in Russia and with its modern services it serves as much as 70% of the vast Russian market. This bank alone currently has more than 14,200 branches and over 278,000 staff, and actively cooperates with more than 98 million individuals and over 2.7 million companies, small, medium and large enterprises.

A major contribution to this prestigious recognition was made by Sberbank Europe, of which Sberbank Serbia is a member, and which in all markets in which we operate as a banking group recorded sizeable market growth in the recent period, not only in loan payments and client numbers, but also in personal and corporate savings deposits.

The excellent business results that we recently achieved were recognized just a few days ago by the famous Forbes magazine, ranking Sberbank Russia at 51st place on its list of the most successful public companies in the world. This is a significant jump for Sberbank on this list, from 402nd place last year to 51st in 2021.

Sberbank Russia and Sberbank Serbia have been working intensively for years to improve business and industrial cooperation between our countries

Is your bank a specific and unique link between Russian and Serbian companies?

The business partnership between Serbia and Russia has been developing for decades, and it is up to all of us to encourage that cooperation and to make it as simple and easy as possible. Russia is traditionally an extremely important foreign trade partner for Serbia, while large Russian retail chains are where many Serbian producers sell their products today. This is not just about food products, fruits and vegetables, but also about clothes, socks, various semi-finished products, spare parts and similar.

Sberbank Russia and Sberbank Serbia have been working intensively for years on improving business and economic cooperation between our countries and today we can be proud of the fact that our banks have enabled numerous successful business projects and considerable sales of products made in Serbia on the large and demanding Russian market. There is definitely a potential for further development of this cooperation and we are all aware of it. An important condition for our even more successful cooperation is the further improvement of production capacity in Serbian companies, not only in volume and quantity, but also in quality.

At the same time, in all new partnerships, one of the great challenges is financial uncertainty, payment deadlines and, of course, trust. In all of this Sberbank has a great role to play, we provide all the companies with whom we cooperate an opportunity to more securely develop their cooperation with partners in Russia and in other countries of the world.

Over the years, our bank has organised some extremely successful B2B meetings between Serbian and Russian companies, enabling them to get to know each other much better, to present business opportunities to each other and to establish mutual cooperation with our support and assistance. One of the latest conferences of this kind was held in March this year, and a number of the most successful of food and confectionery producers in Serbia presented their production and export capacities to the largest retail chain in Russia – X5. It was a great opportunity for potential partners to get to know each other directly and to start talks on future cooperation, which is a great opportunity for companies in Serbia, and also for the entire Serbian economy.

Sberbank Serbia has alsorecently set up a chat bot service covering all the services we provide

You are known for innovation and a rich offer of the most modern digital services. Is that an imperative of the modern age?

Digitalisation is present in every aspect of our lives today. Banking is a sector in which the innovation brought to us by digitalisation, but also by artificial intelligence, is most visible. This can be rightfully said because banks have for a long time been trying to provide their clients with the greatest possible comfort in using financial services, and managing their funds in real time, independently and from anywhere in the world. Digitalisation is the mechanism that makes all this possible.

For years, Sberbank Serbia has been working intensively on modernising and constantly improving all its services, and on channels of communication with clients. This is not just about transactional banking and payments, but also about different types of loan, saving and other services.

Our bank already offers our clients cheap cash loans and refinancing loans that can be arranged completely online in just a few minutes. Many of our clients have recently taken advantage of this, and encouraged by this, we have continued this digital development. Very soon we will enable our clients to apply electronically for a flexible overdraft entirely online, with no obligation to come to our branches.

Sberbank Serbia has also recently set up a chatbot service and covered all the services we provide to people. This has enabled all interested visitors to our site to be much better and more easily informed about our services, and to submit a request or ask us a question about any of them.

Sberbank Serbia will continue with this development in the coming time, because digitalisation is the way to make our services even more accessible to all clients. At the same time, it gives us the opportunity to cooperate successfully with people who live in places where our bank has no branch, and for whom the support of a partner bank like Sberbank is necessary in everyday life and to realise their family plans.

“SBER GREEN”: SBERBANK SERBIA PLANTING 20,000 TREES

Sberbank Serbia has signed cooperation agreements with PE “Srbijašume” and the Fruška Gora National Park to plant 20,000 trees within the “Sber- Zeleno” (“SberGreen”) initiative. The project is calling on Sberbank customers to refrain from paper copies and receive the notifications from the bank electronically. The bank has promised to plant one tree for every client’s email address submitted, thus contributing to the environmental protection.

The seedlings will be planted in several locations across the country, including the Suvobor and Rudnik mountains, the city of Belgrade and Fruška Gora National Park in upcoming months.

“During the “SberZeleno – 1 email = 1 tree” activity we have collected more than 20,000 email addresses and consents, which only confirms that an extremely large number of our clients recognises the importance of this idea and supports the initiative. It enables us to advance with the further digitalisation of our business and promote new channels of communication with the clients” notes Sberbank Serbia CEO Marijana Vasilescu.

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