8 Dec 2023 11:07

VTB to set up separate division for work with major partners, plans integrations in 2024

MOSCOW. Dec 8 (Interfax) - VTB plans to set up a separate division for work with major market partners as part of its new strategy and is planning a number of partnerships in 2024, the Russian state bank's deputy CEO Georgy Gorshkov told Interfax.

"We are carving out work with large market partners into a separate division in a separate part of the strategy and in 2024 the bank's clients will indeed see many interesting integrations. Some of these integrations will give privileges to VTB clients when using certain services or marketplaces," Gorshkov said.

"Also, as part of our new loyalty program, which we will launch in stages throughout 2024, clients will receive higher cashbacks in the categories that they set themselves. This is also part of our plans for the first half of 2024. There will be a selection of these categories, there will be additional options for our salary and pension clients so that they feel needed, and we do really value them. And this will be the realization of the partnerships that you're talking about, this will be partnerships with the largest players on the market," Gorshkov said.

VTB, unlike rival state lender Sberbank , has built an open ecosystem in the past few years in partnership with other companies that are leaders in their sectors. The banking group's primary partners have been retailer Magnit , Internet company Yandex and residential real estate developer PIK. However, sanctions have slowed the development of partnerships within the open ecosystem, VTB head Andrei Kostin said in November 2022.

Being on the U.S. Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List) certainly "hinders this partnership to a certain extent, because many companies and potential partners are very wary of SDN banks," he said at the time. "But I don't want to forecast a situation where the whole country will be on the SDN [List], and then the problem will go away on its own. I think that we will gradually build certain relations based specifically on partnerships," Kostin said.

VTB does not intend to change its strategy for building its ecosystem, he said. "We'll see how [the situation] develops further. If we see that our model is incorrect and we need to develop the model of our own ecosystem, we'll probably change it, but I nonetheless hope that we'll keep it and companies with collaborate. Slowly, this is basically what's happening. Our other partners, particularly Russian ones, understand that sanctions or no sanctions they'll still have to work with the largest banks, which are on the SDN [List], because they won't have other partners," Kostin said.