Sberbank of Russia

09/28/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/28/2020 02:30

Sberbank holds Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for 2019 and meeting of newly-elected Supervisory Board

Sberbank has unveiled the results of its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for 2019, which took the form of absentee voting. CEO and Chairman of Sberbank's Executive Board Herman Gref addressed the shareholders live. In his speech, he highlighted the bank's key results in 2019, spoke of how Sberbank fights COVID-19, and presented the new brand to the shareholders.

According to Sberbank CEO, the bank added another three million retail customers in 2019 to bring their total number to 96 mln people. The number of the bank's corporate customers reached 2.6 mln. Herman Gref stated that the bank had made much progress across all of its strategic areas. It launched its technological platform, which cut the marketing time for new products dramatically. Some companies are on their way being integrated into the ecosystem through some shared elements, from Sberbank ID to cloud services.

Sber's core business is undergoing digitization at full speed. Sberbank Online became the third most downloadable app on App Store. Late last year, the number of Sberbank Online users overshot 27 mln people a day and 66 mln people a month. In 2019, over one-half of all consumer loans were granted online, while DomClick issues every fourth mortgage in Russia and every second mortgage of SberBank in Moscow.

Herman Gref emphasized that Sberbank's 2019 net profit reached RUB845 bln. In terms of profit, Sberbank is number one in Europe and number 10 in the world. Its ROE topped 20%, which is the best figure among the world's Top 50 banks. Its capital adequacy ratio reached 13.4%, which is more than the 12.5% the bank had set as its dividend policy goal.

The coronavirus pandemic slashed Sberbank's IFRS 6M20 revenue by 40% y-o-y. Still, amid the most challenging situation, the bank grew its capital adequacy ratio to 14.8%. This allowed the Supervisory Board to recommend that 2019 dividend payouts reach 50% of the bank's IFRS profit, which is more than RUB422 bln, or RUB18.7 per share. No company in Russia has ever paid such dividends.

In 2019, Sberbank became one of the world's top ten companies with the highest earnings per share in five years. In many ways, this was the factor that fueled the growth of the bank's individual shareholders. In 2020, Sberbank has more than 570,000 individual and corporate shareholders, which is twice as high as in 2019. By this metric, Sberbank is the largest publicly-traded company in Russia.

Herman Gref also touched upon Sberbank's operations during the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting that the bank had switched to teleworking very fast, letting thousands of its employees work remotely and at the same time made everything necessary for its branches to service customers safely. The bank also arranged large-scale COVID testing of its employees to prevent the disease from spreading further and protect its employees and customers. Over 2 mln tests have been done.

The bank allocated more than RUB3 bln to support doctors and hospitals, with the bank's employees and customers having donated RUB193 mln. The bank's top executives donated their April salaries. Part of the funds were allocated for N.F. Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute to develop the vaccine. A COVID-19 hotline for Russians was established using SberHealth. It was used by nearly half a million people. The bank would deliver pension payments to people's homes and prolonged the terms of bank cards and savings accounts automatically.

The school educational platform by Sberbank Charitable Foundation Investment to the Future proved to be very popular during the crisis. In September 2019, it was piloted in 15 schools only, but during the pandemic more than 2,000 schools joined the project. Now the platform is being used by schoolchildren from 55 regions of Russia.

During the crisis the bank did everything for its customers to get government stimulus checks as quickly as possible. The bank offered additional discounts under the government subsidized mortgage program at 6.5% and now provides loans at 6.1%. As of September 1, RUB224 bln were borrowed, which is 90% of all loans on the primary market. To help borrowers, the bank restructured debts of a wider range of customers who needed the support, in addition to those who meet the terms of the government decrees. The bank restructured debts totaling RUB160 bln for retail customers and more than RUB2.2 tln for companies.

The bank also offered soft loans for entities: RUB238 bln under the 2.0% Restart program, RUB47 bln under the Payroll under 0% program, and RUB71 bln for systemic enterprises. Paycheck protection program loans were made available via the SberBank Business Online app and could be obtained in three clicks.

At the end of his speech, Herman Gref presented to the shareholders the new Sber brand, noting that the Sber Conf that was held on September 24 and presented new products for customers had started a new tradition.

Herman Gref, CEO, Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank:

'Sber is our new face, our new identity. For many people Sber is actually our usual and everyday name, but our essence is now different. We've done more than just removed the word bank from our name. We're becoming a universe of services for people's lives. The clock in our logo stands for our mission, which is to save our customers' time. This means asking no unnecessary questions, making no extra efforts, recognizing a customer instantly and providing customized services.'

In conclusion, the CEO of the bank stressed that the bank is finishing work on its Strategy until 2023 and plans to propose it for consideration to the Supervisory Board in November, then it will be presented to shareholders and analysts. He also invited everyone to take part in Investor Day.

Sberbank has also held a meeting of its newly elected Supervisory Board that was voted in today at the bank's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

Anton Siluanov was elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank.

Sergey Ignatiev and Gennady Melikyan were elected Deputy Chairmen of the Supervisory Board.

Gennady Melikyan was elected Senior Independent Director.

The Supervisory Board also reviewed the results of the assessment of candidates to the Supervisory Board of the bank carried out by the Supervisory Board's HR and Remuneration Committee on compliance with the Listing Rules of Moscow Exchange PJSC for determining the independence of directors, and decided to recognize the following members of the Supervisory Board of PJSC Sberbank as independent directors fully meeting the criteria: Esko Tapani Aho, Leonid Boguslavsky, Alexander Kuleshov, Gennady Melikyan, and Nadya Christina Wells.

On the basis of recommendations provided by the Supervisory Board's HR and Remuneration Committee, the Supervisory Board also decided to recognize members of the Supervisory Board of the bank Nikolay Kudryavtsev and Mikhail Kovalchuk as independent directors.

In addition, the Supervisory Board approved the membership of the committees and its preliminary Work Plan for 2020-2021

To increase the Supervisory Board's focus on ESG and sustainable development, the Supervisory Board elected its member Nadya Christina Wells as the ESG and sustainable development supervisor. This practice is being introduced for the first time this year due to the importance and growing relevance of ESG practices, sustainable development and climate change issues for the Bank.