In 2020, First Ukrainian International Bank actively implemented projects aimed at developing the business environment and supporting businesses during the coronavirus crisis.
Educational projects for business
Bank is not only about money, but also about a reliable leverage and support for business. But not all entrepreneurs, even among those who have long and successfully mastered foreign markets, understand what and how to do so that the bank is an effective partner, and its services brought only benefits for the business. Failure to master simple knowledge means losses. LIGA.net edition together with FUIB compiled a “black list” of the main financial mistakes of Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses and explained which banking instruments can be useful for entrepreneurs. More than 21,000 readers-entrepreneurs got acquainted with the 4 Financial Mistakes of Business” project.
When the present hides many variables, there is no time for mistakes. That is why FUIB, together with Agravery Agriportal, created the Business down to Molecules project. Using real examples of small but ambitious Ukrainian agricultural producers, they told all the details of the “added value” business, with the participation of the best experts from various industries, they helped to solve almost the most painful issues of the project's characters and found out whether there is a future for Ukrainian products on the world market. We analyzed 3 farms working in different directions in detail and “down to molecules” and provided advice in the field of marketing, finance and work with retail chains. The project has gathered over 15,000 readers.
Business support in a pandemic
From the first days of the COVID-19 epidemic, the First Ukrainian closely followed the course of events and analyzed the condition of its clients, realizing that many might need support. FUIB is one of the first banks to respond to the quarantine situation and made a number of decisions aimed at supporting clients in the small and medium-sized business segment.
First of all, the bank provided its clients with the opportunity to receive loan repayment holidays (to postpone payments in the body of the loan and partially in interest during the quarantine period for the next 3-6 months). FUIB treated force majeure with understanding, even took into account possible delays in settlements between counterparties, and therefore canceled penalties for late payments on the loan.
FUIB did not stop lending to small businesses through the coronavirus crisis, but on the contrary, during the quarantine period, reduced lending rates, developed partner financing programs for agricultural clients, as well as a product aimed at financing short-term business needs in working capital - the Lehkyi overdraft, increasing the period of continuous use of the limit up to 90 days.
The bank was sympathetic to the force majeure circumstances and canceled the fees for making external and internal payments in national currency, canceled the commission for POS terminals for clients who had no turnovers.
The bank also decided to support business clients who are served under tariff packages, and changed the conditions for applying loyalty: it added balances of all current and card accounts in national currency to the loyalty calculation. FUIB supported individual entrepreneur clients who transfer their income within the bank to their individual accounts, and increased the monthly limit for transfers without commission to UAH 100,000.
In order to limit client contacts during the period of increasing incidence of COVID-19, the Bank introduced electronic signing of contracts via EDS (electronic digital signature) and online verification of businesses and collateral. In 2020, FUIB launched the process of remote account opening with video verification.
The First Ukrainian took an active part in the Available Loans 5-7-9% state program, which made it possible to get a loan at a reduced interest rate (for example, 3% for working capital) and temporarily refinance current loans at 0%. Anti-crisis measures helped enterprises to cope faster with the effects of quarantine, as well as to save jobs. Now FUIB is one of the Top-2 leaders in lending under the Affordable Loans 5-7-9% program; the total amount of loans issued under it exceeded UAH 2 billion.
During the coronavirus crisis, FUIB also paid attention to supporting medium-sized Ukrainian businesses. Simplified procedures, improved conditions and accelerated service processes, optimized controls (reduced 30% of controls in account opening and re-identification processes), strengthened expert business support by providing free consultations. The bank promptly responded to market trends towards a decrease in interest rates for financing, did not stop financing existing clients and continued to attract new ones of medium-sized businesses, satisfying all requests.
The bank offered individual terms of debt restructuring on loans for the most vulnerable clients to the lockdown (tourism, services, production/trade in certain groups of goods spheres). All FUIB's existing clients of medium-sized businesses, who meet the terms of the Affordable Loans 5-7-9% program, took part in it.
By the end of 2020, the number of clients of small, medium and large corporate businesses served by FUIB exceeded 74,600. The increase in small business compared to the previous year amounted to 16,600 clients or +21%. The increase in medium and large business and state-owned enterprises was 230 clients or +6.7%.
FUIB was recognized as the Best Anti-Virus Bank in the rating by the Business magazine. The bank received an honorable first place for the best integrated solutions to support small and medium-sized businesses in quarantine conditions: loan repayment holidays, loan restructuring programs, beneficial financing, cancellation of penalties, etc.
Educational projects for the youth
In 2020, FUIB remained a strategic partner of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) which is one of the best schools in Central and Eastern Europe. FUIB supported the Talents from the Regions educational program, which provides scholarships to study at the two-year Master's program in economic analysis at KSE for students from the regions, and also covers the costs of their stay in Kyiv.
Moreover, for the fifth year in the row, FUIB supported the “My Career in Ukraine” project of the Development of Corporate Social Responsibility center and Career Hub. Its goal is to show the young generation the possible career development path and to inspire them to make deliberate choice of the future profession. Over 1,000 essays from different regions of Ukraine were submitted to the competition. Tenth-graders could share their views on professional future. My Future in Ukraine national lesson was held for them: 187 schools from 24 regions and over 5,000 students participated in it. The project combined the following: 6 regional meetings with 300 authors of the best works; online meetings about the professions of the future called Your Grandmother Never Dreamed Of; blogging webinar. In the final of the National Career Planning Conference, 60 winners presented their team videos. Tenth-graders spent the day online with top managers of companies, government officials and successful Ukrainians. The project was supported by 20 FUIB volunteers, experts from various professional fields.
Helping hospitals fight COVID-19
In the spring of 2020, FUIB, together with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, provided support to 156 hospitals in Eastern and Western Ukraine. The bank donated 2 artificial lung ventilators, 2 invasive patient monitors, more than 47,000 protective suits, more than 4,400 sets of personal protection for doctors, 1,200 sanitizers and 650 pulse oximeters to medical institutions.
Also, the bank, together with ASKA-Life IC, has developed the StopCoronavirus program for protection of medical workers. FUIB provided insurance to 1,500 doctors in 9 supporting hospitals using own funds.
In addition, the bank supported the initiative of the Association of Young Donors of Ukraine to develop the DonorUA AID online platform. This platform brings together businesses, volunteers, charities, vendors and hospitals in the fight against coronavirus.
In the winter of 2020, FUIB and the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation donated 1 lung ventilator to the new intensive care unit of Kyiv hospital No. 4, as well as 140 concentrators in 27 hospitals in 17 regions. A team of 50 volunteers – colleagues in security, maintenance of the bank, communications, marketing, regional centers of the bank and branches – worked on the anti-crisis project.
The case of FUIB on supporting the medical system of Ukraine in the coronavirus crisis was included in the Top 25 best CSR programs in the rating of the Vlast Deneg [Power of Money] magazine.
Partnership with Ukrposhta
In April 2020, Ukrposhta signed a financial lease agreement with FUIB for the purchase of 500 Fiat Doblo Maxi vehicles to create mobile branches. In September, the final batch of 100 cars was handed over. The mobile offices project is an opportunity to provide Ukrainians in the most remote villages with all the necessary services, such as ordering medicines, buying small household appliances or paying utility bills.
Partnership with the Kyiv Security Forum
The Kyiv forum was dedicated to the most acute problems of peace and security facing Ukraine, Eastern Europe and the Euro-Atlantic space. The format of the forum included meetings and direct online connections between Kyiv and Vilnius, Copenhagen, Brussels, Washington as well as other capitals. The event was attended by leading politicians, diplomats and public figures from Ukraine, Europe and the United States. The forum was organized according to the developed COVID protocol. FUIB provided insurance for the forum participants under the StopCoronavirus program from the bank and ASKA-LIFE insurance company.
Partnership with FDA
At the final event of Young SDG Innovators of the UN Global Compact, FUIB bank presented Ukraine with a project for the development of social entrepreneurship. Its idea is that small balances on clients' accounts when they are closed will be transferred to the Social Entrepreneurship Development Foundation. 2-3 social enterprises will be able to open in a year. About 20 people with disabilities will be employed. Today in Ukraine, there are 3 million people with disabilities, 80% of which are of working age, and the unemployment rate is 73%. Additionally, the bank provides 1 million for the competition of cases – business plans of social entrepreneurs. And this is also the opening of 2-3 social enterprises per year and employment of people with disabilities. A constant component – after a while, each enterprise must return the funds provided to the Foundation for opening several more social enterprises. The project partner is the Future Development Agency charitable foundation. The project developed by FUIB is recognized by international experts in innovation and entrepreneurship as the most promising in terms of its scalability. The project will be implemented in 2021 in partnership with the FDA and the UN Global Compact in Ukraine.
Since the level of financial literacy of the population in Ukraine is still low among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, FUIB pays attention to educational communications in social networks, mass media, and corporate publications. Thus, the FUIB – your financial guide online program in the social networks includes training in the finance management, banking products, as well as financial instruments.
In branches of the bank, The People's Banker financial literacy magazine is presented for the clients. Additionally, the materials of the magazine are posted on the bank's website and in social networks. The People's Banker teaches how to use the bank quickly, simply and with the maximum benefit for a person and for their family. The magazine has more than 51,000 readers. The materials are viewed by 10,000 readers on corporate portal, and by almost 197,000 in social networks.
In Ukraine, in recent years there has been an increase in cases of external fraud with payment cards, especially fraud with the use of psychological techniques - social engineering. The situation has especially worsened in connection with the pandemic. Therefore, the bank initiated the creation of Deceive a Fraudster special project on the Obozrevatel.com website. The goal of the project is to protect and teach Ukrainians how not to get hooked by fraudsters, to familiarize them with common fraudulent schemes during the quarantine period. The project on Obozrevatel.com had more than 718,000 views and 613,000 coverage on the Facebook page.
In addition, the bank became a partner of the #ShakhraiGoodbey project of the National Bank of Ukraine, the purpose of which is to educate clients on the rules of safe use of banking products and services and online platforms; and to make them familiar with popular fraudulent schemes. More than 668,000 users of social networks and more than 158,000 clients of salary project companies got acquainted with educational materials.
For the fourth year in a row, FUIB participated in the Day of Savings in Ukraine, initiated by the NABU. In October-November 2020, traditional offline meetings were not held at enterprises, schools and universities due to quarantine; however, online training was organized in Zoom. A total of 20 FUIB volunteers held 27 online meetings with 545 Ukrainians. The purpose of the events is to raise awareness of Ukrainians from different age and social groups about the activities of banks, the use of banking products and services, financial management, and the safe use of modern service channels.
“FUIB Bank” gaming station works for children in Kidlandia city of professions in Kyiv's RC Blockbuster. Here one can work as a bank manager, cashier and cash-in-transit courier. Children learn why a bank is needed, what are its main advantages and products in a simple form, with the help of cartoon characters. Each child can open an account with the bank, earn local currency and accumulate funds – open a deposit. FUIB in Kidlandia is exciting and informative. These are investments in financial literacy and vocational guidance for children.
In 2020, in the branches, FUIB continued to install children's corners where children can relax and draw while parents are being served. Children's corners appeared in 120 branches.