In December 2013, i.e. two years after the launch of Credit Agricole Discount Club the number of commercial outlets offering discounts to bank customers has exceeded 10,000. Thus, as the bank projected in 2011, the club has become the largest of its kind in Poland.
At the end of the year Credit Agricole introduced an investment loan for purchase of arable lands and agricultural properties to its offering. The product is intended for farmers who have been conducting agricultural business or manufacturing activity for at least 12 months, and they own or hold the land on lease.
In October 2013 the bank launched its new website based on the responsive web design technology. Thanks to complete information about products and the opening up to mobile users, the website makes it easy for users to familiarize themselves with the products and services offered by Credit Agricole and make an online purchase decision. The size of the screen used by a user is no longer important as the layout is adapted to the screen being used.
In September Credit Agricole made interest on standard offering deposits even more attractive. The Bank increased interest on 12-month and 24-month deposits. The annual interest rate was set at 3.20% and 3.75% for the 1-year and the 2-year deposit respectively, and was counted among the most attractive rates on the market. Staying true to our motto "Simply and Sensibly" we have prepared the offer for all customers, and there were no additional eligibility requirements.
Also in September the bank organized a panel discussion: Infrastructure Financing - Politics or Business? Among participants in the discussion held on 4 September 2013 during the 23rd Economic Forum in Krynica Zdrój were Jan Krzysztof Bielecki - President of the Economic Council of the Prime Minister, Paweł Tamborski - Undersecretary of Statein the Ministry of State Treasury and Régis Monfront - Vice-President of the Management Board of Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank. The discussion was chaired by Jakub Borowski, Chief Economist of Credit Agricole Bank Polska S.A. Among other things, the participants tried to answer the questions concerning profitability criteria and the impact of central and local government bodies on business effectiveness of infrastructure projects.
Regular savings programmes are a new product category introduced by Credit Agricole in August 2013. The first product from this category is My Financial Reserve which makes it possible to accumulate so called “just in case” funds. To support its customers in achieving this goal the Bank rewards them with extra interest for saving regularly.
In June the Crédit Agricole brand reported its all time high in terms of aided brand awareness (nearly 90 percent). Furthermore, 50 percent of respondents considered Credit Agricole to be a trustworthy financial institution. Intensive marketing activities, which have been carried out since the brand debut on the Polish retail banking market in September 2011 allowed the bank to get such good results.
Also in June Credit Agricole offered group insurance ‘Multipackage’ to its account holders, which was prepared in cooperation with TU Europa S.A. and Europe Assistance Polska S.A. and comprised three packages: Technical Assistance, Medical Assistance and Safe Pocket.
In May Credit Agricole started subscription to TOP 100 DIVIDEND.
In April the bank launched another product for farmers: an investment loan for purchase of arable lands. Customers who intend to start agricultural activities can also take out this loan.
On 22 March 2013 the General Meeting of Shareholders of Credit Agricole Bank Polska approved the bank’s financial statements and decided on how to distribute the profit for 2012. Shareholders were paid dividends amounting to three-fourths of the profit, whereas the remaining one-fourth was used to strengthen the bank’s equity.
In March 2013 Credit Agricole offered farmers the AGRICOLE account with a simple table of fees and charges. The account is maintained for free, and the most popular banking operations cost PLN 0 or PLN 1.
February was the month in which the Bank intensively promoted the Simply-Calculated Loan.
Also in Q1 2013 SIMPLYsaving Account packages were used by Credit Agricole to strengthen its position as a universal bank. At the beginning of 2013 the bank was encouraging its customers one more time to take its offer by offering them a reduction of payments for utility bills by 10% and a bonus if they decided to take the Round-Up Savings (CAsaver) service.
In January 2013 the Polish Financial Supervision Authority gave its consent to the merger of Credit Agricole Bank Polska S.A. with Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank S.A., Branch in Poland. With this merger a business model was created under which both transaction banking products and investment banking products are offered to corporations. Additionally, thanks to the extensive retail sales network and the corporate centers being established, the bank’s services will be more accessible to customers.
In February Credit Agricole Bank Polska received the Golden Banker statuette, in the third edition of the poll organized by bankier.pl portal and PAYU S.A. Internet users awarded the Bank with this honourable distinction for its Simply Calculated Loan.
With spring Credit Agricole Bank Polska entered the agribusiness market. Mobile advisors convinced farmers to take advantage of the Bank’s offer, and of the investment loan in particular. In developing the relationships in the new segment and in building its product offering the Bank draws on the competence and experience of Crédit Agricole regional banks - they form the biggest agriculture bank in France, which has been in operation for over 100 years and serves over 84 per cent of farmers in that country.
In March, the Bank reached out to SOHO businesses with an offer of financing new and used vehicles, equipment and machinery up to as much as 100% of the investment value. Credit Agricole offered them a flexible payment schedule tailored to their credit capacity and seasonal character of their business.
On March 26 the Supervisory Board of Credit Agricole Bank Polska decided that Romulad Szeliga would head the Management Board for yet another 5 year term commencing 1 September 2012. The Supervisory Board underlined the enormous contribution of the President in the development of the Bank and the fact that his education and professional experience guaranteed prudent and stable management.
Romuald Szeliga has been involved in banking almost from the very start of his professional career. During more than 20 years of his work in domestic financial institutions he took an active part in the development of standards and solutions for the entire banking sector in Poland.
The 10th, jubilee, edition of the report "Responsible Business in Poland. Best Practices" recognized Credit Agricole Bank Polska with four awards. Among the practices awarded were: the Active Center, the Let's share knowledge programme, the Code of Ethics, and cooperation with the University of Economics in Wroclaw.
In April, Credit Agricole Bank Polska offered all those interested in purchasing a car, especially in the pre-owned market, the Fast Car Loan. The new product was an addition to the Bank Car Loan already offered by Credit Agricole. The customer can now choose whether to use the traditional bank offer with its good price, possibility of obtaining a higher loan amount and longer financing period - but with security established on the vehicle, or the Fast Car Loan, with funding available almost immediately, without further formalities, with the possibility to benefit from reduced interest rates.
In May, Credit Agricole prepared a deposit lottery for its customers, in which the lucky winners could receive the equivalent of the savings that accumulated in the bank. Funds in I Save savings accounts, Antidotum PRO insurance and savings policies and fixed-term deposits were eligible for the promotion. To qualify for the lottery it was enough to have one thousand PLN gathered in all of these products or in any one of them on the eve of the draw. Every winner received from the Bank as much as they saved but not more than PLN 50,000.00. The total prize pool was nearly PLN 1.5 million, which is almost 100 times more than the average balance of savings in the products included in the lottery.
At the beginning of July Credit Agricole introduced a new investment product. The underlying product for potential profits of up to 30% within three year is the value of three indexes. World Indexes is an investment vehicle in the form of life insurance with unit linked insurance plan based on the value of three stock market indexes: WIG 20, S&P BRIC 40 Euro and SX5E (Euro Stoxx 50).
At the end of the month the Bank announced that it had once again invited Juliette Binoche to participate in its image building campaign. The decision to continue cooperation with the French actress was due to the success of the first image building campaign she participated in. Studies confirmed that customers viewed her positively as the ambassador of Bank brand. Thanks to intensive communication activities, over 76% of respondents declared recognition of the Credit Agricole brand.
In August, Credit Agricole Bank Polska introduced the Business Loan offer for representatives of liberal professions, which could be used for financing anything related to their business activity. Also existing SME customers could apply for the cash loan.
In October, the Bank offer was expanded with new packages of SIMPLY Saving accounts. Free online transfers, a Personal Overdraft Facility, contactless cards, a service which facilitates saving - are all components of the packages. The bank addresses the latest offer both to customers who use their accounts actively and expect tailored solutions and to those who use their accounts occasionally, but value personal contact with the advisor.
At the same time Credit Agricole introduced a new functionality - Round-Up Savings.
It allows customers, little by little, to put aside some specified amounts. All non-cash transactions made with any card issued to new account packages are rounded up and the round-up amount is transferred to the I Save savings account. Customers themselves decide the nearest round-up amount - it can be PLN 0.5, PLN 1 or PLN 5.
Introduction of new packages was accompanied by the I Save On Bills promotion addressed to those who opened a SIMPLY Saving PLUS or SIMPLY Saving PREMIUM account before November 30. During the campaign the Bank lowered account holders’ water, electricity, gas, internet, and mobile and landline phone bills.
In November, Credit Agricole announced that it would soon provide services to the largest corporations. The Bank will merge with the Polish branch of the corporate and investment banking arm of its shareholder. This is another considerable step on the way to universal banking. The Bank is waiting for the KNF consent to go ahead with the merger. The Bank expects the formal merger process to be completed in the first half of 2013. Also in November, Credit Agricole simplified the account opening process for corporate clients. They can now open an account using electronic documents, which will then be verified by Bank employees online in relevant registries.
In January LUKAS Bank starts the refurbishment of its bank branches. The first ones are branches in Warsaw, Poznań, Katowice and Wrocław. The refurbished outlets feature both new external design (furniture, customer service stations) and overall organization of work of advisors. The refurbishment is a part of a larger project aimed at introducing a new model of work in all LUKAS Bank branches in Poland. By the end of the year the bank plans to refurbish all branches.
For the first time in the Bank’s history its offering features structured products. Up to 10% of annual profit is promised by Lukas Bank from its new guaranteed capital investment product launched in March. The condition for generating such profit is a stable, within a specific bracket, EUR/PLN exchange rate over the period of 2 years.
In April the bank launches services to corporate clientele.
In May LUKAS Bank promotes its cash loan by clearly communicating the associated costs. The Bank asserts that every Customer can easily calculate the costs of a loan. The offer is supported by a TV commercial.
On 23 September, LUKAS Bank S.A. changed its name to Credit Agricole Bank Polska Spółka Akcyjna and launched the Crédit Agricole brand for retail banking in Poland. The change of our name emphasises the fact that for 10 years we have been part of Crédit Agricole, one of the largest financial groups in the world. All our efforts are designed to make our bank even more credible, accessible, professional and friendly towards Customers.
On 23 September 2011, the international brand Crédit Agricole replaced Lukas Bank and soon afterwards the "Prosto i z sensem" (simply and reasonably) slogan replaced the previously used "Tak powinno być w każdym banku" (This is what it should be like at any bank).
"Prosto i z sensem" corresponds to "Le bon sens a de l'avenir", which, translated literally, means "common sense has a future". Both versions of our motto reflect Crédit Agricole's conviction that, despite widespread opinion to the contrary, it is possible to like a bank, and the offering of a financial institution can be simple and easy to understand.
The new slogan made its debut in the image-building campaign of Credit Agricole Bank Polska launched on 18 October. Juliette Binoche, an outstanding French actress, an Oscar, César, and Golden Palm prize winner, known from such films as Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours: Blue, The English Patient, or Chocolat, was the face of the campaign.
The commercial showed the bank in the context of the likes and dislikes of financial institution customers. The light-in-style film collage illustrated the motto of Credit Agricole Bank Polska, "Prosto i z sensem", in a very simple but at the same time very attractive way.
In November, Credit Agricole Bank Polska launched its Discount Club for those customers that want to use their payment cards even more effectively and save money at the same time. Under the program customers can get discounts at the moment of making a card payment; discounts are applied right at the till. An innovative feature of the program offered by Credit Agricole is the possibility for customers to enjoy not only discounts offered in partner stores on a regular basis, all year round, but also extra discounts. The Club's partners comprise both large nationwide companies and small local businesses, which is another distinctive feature of the bank's offering.
At the end of the year we revamped our credit card portfolio. The most important of the changes made was the structuring of the offering in line with the retail customers segmentation. The aim of the change was to tailor the offering to meet, to a larger extent than previously, the needs of card holders and to make the products offered more distinct. In the Standard segment the bank launched a Credit Agricole Visa Standard card replacing the Maxima PLUS card. The Silver segment is represented by Credit Agricole Visa Silver and Credit Agricole MasterCard Silver cards, the latter replacing the MasterCard FURORA card. The Gold segment cards offered include Credit Agricole Visa Gold and Credit Agricole MasterCard Gold.
In February, the offering of personal accounts changes.
In March LUKAS Bank offers to its bank account customers a car loan, a mortgage loan and a cash loan without any origination fee, free current account and standing orders as well as higher interest rates on saving accounts and term deposits. The offer is also advertised on TV and on the Internet.
The Bank initiates CSR activities - it co-organizes the actions: "Get your bike to work. Let your car rest for a week" and "Saving Paper Saves Hedgehogs".
In June and July LUKAS Bank conducts the fist universal bank campaign-the Bank changes the service model for individual customers. Advisors do not wait for customers in bank branches but actively call them and invite to meetings. Apart from building relationships with customers, which was the key objective of the campaign, the advisors sold altogether 98 thousands products.
In June the layout of the bank website changes. New functionalities, such as a search tool and useful clipboard, are added. In July the Bank launches Lokata Poranna ("morning term deposit") with daily capitalization of interest, and in August it provides its customers with individual credit line facility for accounts.
After the first half of 2010 LUKAS Bank holds 966 thousand personal accounts and 51 thousand business accounts.
In November we have launched cooperation with the Wrocław University of Economics. On the 9th of November Romuald Szeliga shared his banking knowledge and experience with the students. The meeting was organised under the Business Education Forum programme, designed to bring together the experience of business people and the theoretical knowledge of academics. Until the end of the year another 3 lectures of our experts will be held at the University.
LUKAS Bank promotes a consolidation loan. The Bank organizes other promotions of FURORA credit card supported by advertising campaigns, for instance offering to customers a 6 percent refund in building and interior design shops in the spring and in sport shops in the summer.
In September the Bank implements a new sales structure. Credit centers are transformed into bank branches that provide comprehensive product offering.
At the end of the year, LUKAS Bank operates through the network of 444 points of sales. The Bank holds 935 thousand personal accounts and over 50 thousand business accounts. The Bank issued 1.37 million credit cards.
LUKAS Bank has launched a credit card-based FURORA loyalty programme. For the payments made with the FURORA card the customer gets a refund of a part of the amount spent on shopping. LUKAS Bank provides its customers with an option to receive statements via email. The Bank has been also developing its sales network, with 229 bank branches and 154 credit centres at the end of 2008. The Bank opened the first fully franchised credit centre.
Further intensive developement of banks sales network at the end of the year LUKAS Bank has over 330 branches. LUKAS Bank exceeded the number of one million issued credit cards thus assumed the leader position among credit card issuers in Poland.
Fast developement of LUKAS Banks sales network. Number of credit centers. LUKAS Bank presented also first mobile bank branch in Poland - LUKASmobil.
In September 2005 the business of LUKAS SA was transferred to LUKAS Bank SA by way of an in-kind contribution. Consequent to this operation, business activities pursued to date by LUKAS were transferred to LUKAS Bank, which now pursues its activities in two business lines: retail banking and consumer finance.
Taking advantage of the growth potential of the Polish financial services market, LUKAS Bank extensively develops its line of retail banking, also aimed at the SME sector. LUKAS SA reinforces its position as the consumer finance leader and constantly expands its offering of cash loans, car loans, and credit cards - so as to provide the customers with a comprehensive range of financial services.
On 6 February 2001, the shareholders of LUKAS SA sign an agreement with a new investor - Crédit Agricole. Consequently, one of the world"s biggest financial groups becomes a shareholder of the Bank. The Bank"s name changes to LUKAS Bank SA and its head office is transferred to Wrocław.
Intensive bank development. The Bank creates a Poland-wide network of bank outlets and launches its customer service over the phone and the Internet. The Bank starts co-operation with the biggest commercial chains in Poland in the provision of credit facilities to customers.
On 17 March 1998 the General Meeting of Shareholders of Bank Świętokrzyski adopts a resolution on the increase of its share capital by an issue of shares to be allotted to a strategic investor - LUKAS SA. Consequently, LUKAS SA, a leader in the consumer finance market - becomes one of the Bank"s shareholders. In August the Bank changes its name to LUKAS Bank Świętokrzyski SA.
The instalment loan service is transferred from a trading company LUKAS Sp. z o.o. to a special purpose company S.L. The Company"s service is called the LUKAS Instalment System.
Bank Świętokrzyski SA starts its operating activity. During the first years of its existence, the Bank is a universal financial institution. In May, LUKAS Sp. z o.o. opens a new department dealing with instalment loans in Wrocław. Soon other branches appear across Poland.
Bank Świętokrzyski is established by virtue of Decision No. 66 of the President of the National Bank of Poland issued in consultation with the Minister of Finance. In the same year a trading company LUKAS sp. z o.o. (Polish limited liability company) is established.