On March 25, 2005, the Supervisory Council of Vneshtorgbank held its regular meeting to define the agenda of the Bank's annual General Meeting of Shareholders and to discuss a number of organizational issues.
The Supervisory Council considered and approved the Concept of a specialized retail bank to be established on the basis of Vneshtorgbank's subsidiary - 'GUTA-BANK' Commercial Bank. The Concept envisages an overhaul of the VTB Group and establishment of a bank focusing on retail services.
This decision calls for such specialized bank to develop retail business on a more dynamic and more competitive platform using a more flexible organization structure, ensuring lower costs of a network development due to standardized operating units, and introducing simplified decision making procedures aimed at enhancing households' services. The new bank will offer a whole range of credit, deposit and settlement products to households and small enterprises with the annual income under USD 3 mln.
Once this concept is implemented, the universal banking group of Vneshtorgbank will consist of a parent corporate bank, a specialized retail subsidiary and other subsidiaries in Russia, the CIS and Europe. The parent corporate bank shall supervise the Group's overall strategy and main business performance, it will also coordinate retail business program implementation and some other of its functions, such as finance management and risk control.
Due to favorable business environment of the VTB Group, its retail services growth will certainly outpace both market average growth rate, and that of a similar business within a major universal bank. A network of operating units of such retail bank will include a number of already existing branches, offices and outlets of Vneshtorgbank and its subsidiaries. Hence, in 2005 the Bank will have a specialized distribution network in 40 regions of the Russian Federation. Besides, an automated system of the retail bank will allow its customers to use such remote access channels as ATMs, call centers, and Internet which will help it develop into a most technologically advanced bank of Russia. Besides, another driver behind the retail growth will be additional investments to be channeled into its infrastructure by the Bank's shareholders. These funds amounting to RUR 17 - 21 bln will ensure achieving a positive financial performance by the end of its third operating year.