Developing relations and supporting a constructive dialogue with shareholders and representatives of the investment community have traditionally been a high priority for VTB Group and extend beyond required corporate procedures. VTB has been recognised as one of the leaders in Russia in this area, which has allowed the Bank to maintain a consistently high national corporate governance rating of 7 ++.
VTB senior management and authorised units engage with investors on an ongoing basis. The Investor Relations Department is responsible for communications with institutional investors, and its Shareholder Relations Service is responsible for communications with individual shareholders.
In 2019, the Bank continued implementing its Plan (road map) to improve the perception of VTB among minority shareholders. The number of VTB shareholders increased by more than a third compared to the previous year and was about 160 thousand people as of December 2019.
In 2019, the key investor relations events were:
- The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders;
- Corporate actions related to the acquisition, consolidation and merger of credit organisations with the Bank;
- Shareholder participation in the formation of a new Development Strategy for 2019–2022;
- Development of a programme of special offers and products for shareholders, the introduction of new products under special conditions;
- The development of the Bank’s electronic communication channels;
- The introduction of an e-voting system at General Meetings of Shareholders with the use of biometrics and new VR and NFC technologies;
- Expanded functionality of the VTB Shareholder mobile application, creating a seamless transition to the trading section (VTB My Investments).
An important area in which the system of relations with minority shareholders is being improved is the development of digital communication channels. Given that more and more young people are becoming shareholders, the demand for electronic forms of communication is constantly growing. For example, the VTB Shareholder mobile application is very popular.
Users of the application have access to recommendations from leading analysts in VTB Group, real-time information on stock prices, the ability to maintain records of their investment portfolio and to stay up to date on important news and events for shareholders. The application enables users to see all existing privileges for VTB Bank shareholders. In addition, clients can use the feature of filtering the available privileges. To do this, a user only needs to specify the number of shares they own. For active investors, a function was added that allows investors to connect to the trading system in the VTB My Investments application.
Starting in 2019, specially for large events, such as the General Meeting of Shareholders and Investor Days, a section has been available in the VTB Shareholder mobile application where users can find detailed programmes and information about participants, download interactive maps, ask speakers questions and learn about special offers for VTB shareholders.
Through the mobile application, any shareholder, regardless of where they live or are currently located, has access to news about the activities of the Bank and VTB Group as a whole, and can take part in the management of the Bank by voting at general meetings, receive announcements about events for shareholders and investors and register to participate in them.
The VTB Shareholders Consultative Council now has Facebook and Twitter accounts for VTB shareholders. The number of followers of these accounts increased by 20 % during the year. Social networks make it possible to quickly convey important information to shareholders, to use a format that is convenient for a young audience, and to continue developing electronic communication channels. In addition, social networks make it possible to host a wide range of additional media materials, such as videos and interviews, photo reports and live broadcasts.
The Bank issues a specialised news digest for shareholders; in 2019, 10 issues of the newsletter for shareholders were shared, and more than 200 news items were published on the Shareholders Consultative Council’s Facebook page and through the mobile application.