PLATINA CB LLC informs you about closing some of its correspondent accounts
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Open an account in the Platina Bank in 5 minutes
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Platina Bank offers rental of safe deposit boxes in the Fedukovo branch
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Working hours of the Platina Commercial Bank during the Russia’s Independence Day
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Working hours of Platina Commercial Bank's cash office change from August 12
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History and Specialty

Platina Bank was incorporated in 1992-1993 as a highly specialized bank to perform operations in particular segments of the financial market. Its aim was catering to the needs of a well-defined circle of elite clients which were offered premium banking services. Under these circumstances, the Bank's main clients over this period were mainly Moscow major enterprises.

Having begun from scratch, without a built up client base and a big name in the financial world, the Bank was not constrained by the rules and stereotypes of the old economic system or by an stagnant organizational structure and took advantage of an opportunity to develop a financial business according to its own high standards. For the passed period, the Bank succeeded in creating its own traditions, elaborating approaches to operations, fundamentally new to Russia, and formed a team of highly professional experts.

The structure of the Bank, which was one of the first to apply a technology well-reputed in the developed countries, the Private Banking for VIP Corporate, essentially differs from the classic administrative structures, typical for Russian banks. The organizational and administrative core of the Bank is its Credit Committee, composed of most qualified personal bankers, managing the largest volumes of client assets.

The Bank has implemented a collective information-field concept that allows particularly fast fulfillment of any client assignments. The office is purpose designed to facilitate extra-fast flow of information.

The geographical location of the Bank's various divisions is exclusively subordinated to the needs of its clients. Branch offices are set up at the locations of the large organizations we serve to perform precisely designated tasks. On the whole, the Bank avoided the creation of a wide network of unspecialized branches, having given preference to the implementation of the most modern technologies that enable clients to receive a most comprehensive set of services without visiting the Bank. Current operations are performed utilizing a product called "Bank-Client", or over the Internet by means of the CyberPlat® system (today almost 100% of client payments are handled via these two media). A personal banker comes to the client to settle any possible atypical situation, thus providing "in-home banking". Our top-rated clients are visited by personal bankers on a daily basis.

1993 - 1995 – Interbank Market Operations

Before the crisis of 1995, the Bank concentrated mostly on placing assets in the interbank credit market. It created a network of partner banks, developed and implemented “Interbank Credits” telecommunication system—one of the first trading systems in Russia based on the secure electronic document interchange. By May 1995, according to the “Kommersant” newspaper, the Bank ranked 5th in Russia in the interbank lending volumes. The Bank’s active work in the given market earned it a well deserved appreciation in the banking circles. During that period, credit operations for the production sector of the economy held a minor place in the Bank's assets structure.

1996 - 1997 – Industrial Lending

After the financial crisis in the summer of 1995, operations in the interbank credit market became unacceptably risky, and thus their proportion was radically curtailed. At that, the Bank managed to timely rearrange its assets, practically avoiding any material losses. The banking system of the country as a whole was experiencing serious problems from non-payment and delays in the repayment of credits. Platina Bank allocated special attention to ensuring full legal backing for its banking activities, with due allowance for the unfolding changes to the country's legal system. The Bank's legal service was considerably strengthened, and in particular, its experts developed methods of recovering assets from unscrupulous borrowers, including the suspension of accounts abroad. The practical implementation of this "know-how" resulted in creating a number of legal precedents.

1995-1997 were the years when the Bank determined its position within the updated financial and economic system of Russia, choosing areas of activity and further growth. The main result of this marketing search was the creation of a strategy based on a thorough analysis of the levels of risk for different segments of the financial market. So, for example, it was considered inexpedient to place more than 20% of assets in the interbank market. The State Treasury Bill (GKO) market, formed by the state, was also considered by the Bank's experts to be excessively risky due to the state's regular failures in fulfilling its obligations on the repayment of loans received from foreign and home creditors. A similar assessment was made in respect of the stock market; this assessment proved correct during the global financial crisis that began in the autumn of 1997, and during the events of August 17, 1998.

Throughout the whole time of operation, the Bank has never acquired any State Treasury Bills or Federal Loan Bonds, and has not concluded any foreign currency forward contracts.

Since 1996, the Bank has accomplished a sizable work in building an especially reliable credit portfolio, focusing on lending to industrial enterprises. At the same time, the Bank has been particularly careful in selecting borrowers, giving priority to the communication and network-based continuous production sectors with sustainable and guaranteed sales of produced goods and services. Specifically, electric power production, telecommunications, construction, transport, raw material processing, and the food industry were regarded as the most stably operating and promising. This strategy resulted in the creation of a highly reliable credit portfolio, as well as prevented any losses connected with the world financial crisis.

1998 - 2001 – Transition from Interest to Commission Income

1998 was a year of crisis for the Russian financial system. August of 1998 dealt with pseudo-banks occupied not with investments in the economy but gambling in risky markets. The banks that were closest to the Government, and hence the largest, ceased payments, inflicting extreme difficulties on their clients.

In this situation, Platina Bank (which throughout its entire history has never invested a single ruble in State Treasury Bills or Federal Loan Bonds, and which has not concluded any forward contracts) held a considerable advantage over the banks that were suffering notable losses in the troubled sectors of the financial market.

The Bank’s client base increased fourfold. Enterprises from the printing industry, telecommunications, gold mining, subsidiaries of Goznak of the Russian Federation, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation became the Bank’s new outstanding clients. The turnover of funds in client accounts significantly increased along with the turnover increase in the Bank’s correspondent accounts.
The Bank created its collection service; a storage facility, equipped with deposit cells, was brought into operation.

The development of the Russian financial market after the crisis predetermined new trends in the Bank’s activity, making it more comprehensive, oriented to catering for the production sector of the economy. For the first time, the Bank obtained a license to export 10 tons of gold and 250 tons of silver from Russia. It obtained a certificate for its depository of precious metals, and formed a special department to perform operations with gold.

In an effort to have at its command the most innovative high technologies, the Bank developed and introduced CyberPlat® in 1997- a historically first Russian system of payments via the Internet – thus becoming the leading Russian bank in the respected field.

The first online payment was effected by CyberPlat® on March 18, 1998 for the benefit of the Garant-Park Company. On August 12, 1998, the first Russian Internet transaction of topping up a mobile account in the billing system of VimpelCom Company (“Beeline” trademark) was conducted. It commenced a new era in the electronic commerce of Russia.

The core operation of the CyberPlat® electronic payment system is effecting of payments made in favour of various service providers, including the leading operators of mobile and landline communications, satellite and cable television providers, Internet providers, utility and power supply companies, and banks, thus covering the entire range of consumer services.

In 1999, the Bank became a member of the VISA International payment system. Unprecedented among Russian banks until present, within mere three months it had obtained the status of a Principal Member. For Platina Bank, it meant an entry into a new segment of retail banking services, in full compliance with the Bank's operational diversification strategy—extending the range of the rendered services, making them comprehensive, and increasing the share of non-interest incomes. In a brief space of time, the Bank created its own processing center issuing and servicing all types of international VISA plastic cards: VISA Platinum / Gold / Business / Classic / Electron Plus / Virtuon.

The volume of operations involving bank, commercial, and traveler's checks increased manifold. At the same time, the volume of commercial checks, accepted for collection in 1999, was almost double that of the largest retail bank — the Savings Bank of the Russian Federation.

Finally, the Bank registered two leasing companies, thereby significantly enlarging the range of banking services provided to industrial enterprises.

Due to the difficult economic situation, the instability of the legislative base, and the inefficiency of the judicial system, the quantity of issued credits was considerably reduced. Accordingly, the Bank's income structure underwent significant alteration — transition from interest (credit) incomes to non-interest (commission) incomes. The growth of the non-interest income proportion has been observed until now. The newly formed income structure allowed the Bank to decrease its dependence on the volume of allocated funds to a maximum extent and substantially lessen the overall risks.

2002 - Present day – Investments and Commission Income

2001—2002 were the years of a continued business recession in the Western countries that began in 2001, after a prolonged period of sustained economic development. The world financial system based on dollar domination showed signs of instability. Prices for the important groups of raw materials, that form the base of Russian exports, increased. The increased volume of currency inflow led to an unceasing rise in manufacturing costs inside Russia. At the consistently high ruble inflation rate, the real ruble exchange rate grew, and thus devalued the currency savings. In such economic conditions, only well-chosen fixed-capital investments allow to maintain the value and receive guaranteed profit.

In response to the observed economic tendencies, the Bank moved its priorities to the field of active operations. While continuing to provide short-term enterprise lending, the Bank began long-term investing in the real sector of the economy.

The implementation of a formerly started investment project of constructing an A-class banking and business center on the Ovchinnikovskaya Embankment was expedited. The Banking and Business Center is located in the very center of Moscow, Zamoskvorechye, on the Vodootvodny Canal Embankment — one of the most beautiful districts of old Moscow. The first part, of 24,000 sq. m., and the second part, of 14,000 sq. m., of the A-class office building were constructed meeting high safety and reliability standards and fitted out with the most modern equipment. The first building includes 14 over-ground and 2 underground floors, an underground parking area, restaurant and cafeteria; a helipad is provided. The second 4-floor part is designed to comprise a single ensemble with the first one.

The project implementation was completed in spring of 2004. The building was sold to a large investment holding - Perm Financial and Industrial Group.

For Platina Commercial Bank Holding the original objective of this project was to create a quality, high-yielding and easily marketable asset which eventually was successfully implemented – the profitability of the project exceeded 1,000 percent.

The consummation of the project was a much publicized event in the business circles and had an extensive coverage in the press. The authoritative business daily, Vedomosti, (#56 of 02.04.2004) estimated the deal as the biggest and “signal” one. According to the poll conducted by the Firm’s Secret business weekly, the sale of the Business Center on the Ovchinnikovskaya Embankment was rated the first in the category “The Most Significant Sale of Commercial Property in 2004”.

Agricultural projects in the Moscow Region and Chernozemye (Black Earth Belt area) became a new trend in the Bank’s investment activity. The Bank established the Rodnoe Pole agricultural holding, which consists of several agricultural enterprises in the Podolsk, Narofominsk, Mozhaysk and Istra districts of the Moscow region. The enterprises of the holding include 150 sq. km of land in the Moscow region, over 500 units of agricultural machinery, and 4.5 thousand of cattle head.

The Bank’s entry into the period of mid-term and long-term investments in principal capital (“real values”) signifies a qualitative increase in the Bank’s reliability along with maintaining a traditionally high level of liquidity. It is becoming particularly valuable against the background of inflation processes, increasing competition in the financial sector, and the decrease in interest rates and bank commission fees.

Generally, the Bank has implemented a development strategy, as manifested in particular periods, has always focused on top priority care for client interests and the preeminence of guaranteed safety of their assets. Reasonable conservatism in asset allocation and maintaining high liquidity has always distinguished the Bank’s approach to task solution in all periods of development. For entire 13 years of work, including the periods of acute crises in the financial sector, the Bank always accepted and executed payments strictly on time, not having allowed for even a day’s delay.

2008 - Major achievements

Within the past year, the Bank continued its dynamic advancement in all trends which was determined by the Bank’s development strategy. The system of information and technology maintenance of Internet-based payments, CyberPlat®, which was created in 1997, allowed the Bank to become the acknowledged leader in the rapidly developing hi-tech payment acceptance market. The total turnover of the CyberPlat® electronic payment system comprised 6.5 billion US dollars in 2008, which exceeded the previous year’s figure by almost 40 %.

More than 1.5 billion payments were effected through the versatile payment system CyberPlat® in 2008. Such volume of operations, given that the population of Russia is 142 million people, suggests that almost all population of the country uses the CyberPlat® payment system.

In terms of volume of payments effected on the daily basis, CyberPlat® is currently the largest payment system in the country. According to data received from experts, it outruns the combined operations of the Central Bank of Russian Federation and international payment systems VISA and MasterCard in Russia. It should also be noted that payment operation processing in the CyberPlat® system is carried out online and takes no more than two seconds.

In 2008, the CyberPlat® reached a new level of its development and became an international global payment system of transnational character with the total number of payment acceptance outlets equal to 400,000 where 230,000 outlets are located in Russia and CIS countries and 170,000 outlets – in the biggest cities throughout the world. The total number of the CyberPlat® payment acceptance outlets increased more than twofold in 2008 and now it exceeds the size of the entire Russian banking system (the number of banking institutions with all their branches, locations and even transportable cash desks is about 43,000 at present) more than five times. Such a stable and dynamic business growth became possible owing to connecting new payment terminal networks, trading and dealer companies, as well as offices and branches of various banks to CyberPlat® payment processing system. In particular, Bank of Moscow, Credit Bank of Moscow, Rosselhozbank, TransCreditBank, and many other credit institutions became participants in the payment system in 2008. More than 130 banks are partners to the CyberPlat® payment system.

The CyberPlat® payment system collects more than 25% of earnings of all cellular communication operators in Russia, being the largest partner of Beeline, MTS and MegaFon in the volume of accepted subscriber payments.

In 2008, the largest federal mobile communication brand stores, including Svyaznoy and Euroset, continued successful partnership with the CyberPlat® payment system, as well as electronics store networks Eldorado, Mir, Belyi Veter, and many others.

One should specially note the progress in expediting the joint global project of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Russian Post” and CyberPlat® on accepting cash payments from population through the largest chain of post offices in Russia, counting approximately 40,000 offices nationwide.

Public Joint Stock Company "UTK", Open Joint Stock Company North-West Telecom OJSC, Closed (Joint-Stock) Company “Natsionalnaya Sputnikovaya companiya” (Tricolor TV brand), PIK Group, and money others connected to the CyberPlat® payment system in 2008.

In 2008, the largest chain of supermarkets “Ostrov” jointly with CyberPlat® implemented a new product which is unique for the Russian market of electronic payments – “change to mobile phone (account)” using a barcode.

Following a leadership strategy in the payment acceptance market, the CyberPlat® system has implemented a possibility of accepting payments for communal services, including electricity bills, in a number of large regions.

In order to expedite interaction with clients, as well as to increase the market share and develop regional business, CyberPlat®’s regional representative offices were established in all seven Federal districts of Russia by 2008.

The CyberPlat® Company successfully develops and expands its international business.

A subsidiary company in Kazakhstan - CyberPlat-Kazakhstan, LLP - was set into operation on September 15, 2005. The first payments through the system were executed in April, 2006. By the middle of 2008, all GSM-operators in Kazakhstan connected to the CyberPlat® payment system.

In 2008, a representative office of CyberPlat® was established and started its operating activity in Moldova as a part of the global international development programme.

CyberPlat’s membership in the World GSM Association became the deserved recognition of the Company’s contribution in developing the domestic market of cellular communication and a high quality of provided services.

The arrangements made for accepting utility payments using the Bank’s agency network became an important event of the past year.

At the same time:

  • the payers got an opportunity of online control over the status of their indebtedness which is broken down into periods;
  • the credit of funds to accounts in the united settlement centre expedited to a great extent;
  • the number of errors in the course of payment documents processing was reduced;
  • the Bank’s counterparty ensuring payment acceptance can now receive a commission fee from the total amount of accepted funds.

In the previous year, the Bank deployed its own network of payment terminals enabling the consumers to make payments to service providers (including utility payments) more comfortably in the most visited places 24 hours a day.

In 2008, the Bank continued to build an agri-industrial holding, in line with the strategy of investing in the fixed capital. It purchased imported farm machinery, built facilities for processing of agricultural products, carried out systematic work aiming at increasing the profitability of the farms in the holding. In particular, it set in operation a milk factory for processing and packaging up to 10 tons of milk per day at the ZAO Zvetkovsky in Mozhaysk District of Moscow Region – the fourth milk factory among the farms of the Holding that are located near Moscow. The farm which was “dead” at the moment of the strategic investor’s coming, received a stock of cattle; a sales system of milk products was elaborated.

When the Bank showed a long-term interest to the agricultural segment, it also affected the spatial location of its business units. For the previous year, for the first time in the Bank’s history, its branch located near Moscow in Fedyukovo, Podolsk District of Moscow region, continued its successful operation and provided the population and enterprises with the entire range of up-to-date banking services. The Bank continued to develop one of the most efficient milk factories in Moscow Region called “Voskhod” (located in Narofominsk District).

It should be noted that the Bank’s investments in 2006 were not limited by agricultural segment and regional projects.

For the previous year, the Bank financed repair and improvement of premises (purchased in 2005) of a formerly existing manufacturing complex located in the territory of the “Big City”, adjoining the Moscow’s international business centre Moscow-City, which is near the city centre and next to the major operating and planned traffic arteries. The Complex which consists of four buildings with total area of about 12,000 square meters and occupies a land lot equal to 1.7 hectare was transformed into a business centre and brings a high return.

In the previous year, the leasing companies controlled by the Bank continued their dynamic activity. By early 2006, more than 400 units of expensive road, agricultural and other machinery were purchased through them. In its credit policy, the Bank focused on the trade financing mainly associated with delivering food articles from the manufacturing countries to the Russian border, as well as providing an overdraft facilities service to the key clients of the CyberPlat® Company.
The Bank has strengthened its positions at the international plastic card market which turnover increased through the year by 30%.

In 2006, the most advanced services for the Bank’s clients continued being in demand. In particular, the Bank’s plastic card holders made payments using their smart-phones in a totally protected mode. At the same time, they were provided with instant reception of information about the payment status when paying for the services of the major communications operators.

In 2006, the work aimed at securing the Bank’s client base continued. For the previous year, the number of client accounts increased 2.1 times and the total balance amount on the client accounts - 2 times.

2007 - 2008 Major achievements

Since October 2007, the Bank is an affiliated member of the international payment system MasterCard under sponsorship of the Russian Europay Members Association. Emission of cards started in March 2009. In September 2008, the Bank obtained a license for the merchant acquiring from the VISA international payment system.