An important element in managing social risks is the complaints process.
Complaints process at the Bank
Reporting complaints or appeals by the customer
The submission of notices or appeals by customers may take various forms, depending on the customer’s decision:
- in writing (personal or postal delivery);
- oral (to the report as part of a personal contact during a visit to the Bank’s branch or telephone contact with an employee of the Bank);
- electronic (via the online banking service or other electronic means of communication, indicated in the agreement or product regulations).
Complains and appeals handling process
The complaint handling process is conducted along two lines:
- the first line consists of units dealing with the first complaint of a customer in accordance with the tasks performed. It applies to notices:
- filed by retail customers;
- filed by corporate and investment banking customers;
- cases of a breach of banking secrecy or personal data protection directed by the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection (GIODO);
- the second line is the Customer’s Ombudsman and the Office of the Customer’s Ombudsman, who considers:
- appeals of customers from the position of the Bank’s first line in the complaints process;
- customer reports directed by the institutions:
- the PFSA;
- external institutions dealing with the protection of customer rights (such as the Banking Consumer Arbitration, the Arbitration Court at the Polish Banks Association, the Arbitration Court at the PFSA, the Municipal or County Consumer Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman);
- Individual cases, in particular, when the application can have an adverse impact on the Bank’s image or there is a possibility of the customer escalating the notice to the banking supervision authority.
Notices or appeals are dealt with promptly, with due diligence, reliable, thoroughly and punctually. The PKO Bank Polski Code of Ethics, the Code of Good Banking Practice and the standards of customer service quality are additionally applied when considering notices and appeals.
The consideration of a notice / appeal is based, in particular, on:
- an analysis and assessment of its validity;
- taking appropriate steps to eliminate identified irregularities;
- giving a comprehensive response.
Pursuant to the Act on handling complaints by financial market entities and on the Financial Ombudsman, the Bank is guided by the principle that the response to customer complaints should be formulated in a clear and understandable manner and should include:
- a factual and legal justification, unless the notice / appeal was considered in line with the customer’s wishes;
- exhaustive information about the position of the Bank with regard to the reservations submitted, including an indication of the respective parts of the agreement or the product regulations;
- the specification of the date on which the customer’s claim, if accepted by the Bank, will be fulfilled.
The dates of replying are in line with the above Act.
Reporting of the complaints process.
The complaints process is regularly monitored by the Bank’s authorities. The Customer Relations Office, in cooperation with the Office of the Customer’s Ombudsman, presents information to the Bank’s authorities on customer notices and appeals in the form of reports containing statistical data.
Analysis of notices / appeals to identify possible irregularities
The process of handling customer notices and appeals is supplemented by the initiation of beneficial changes at the Bank.
Every unit at the Bank, which examines applications and appeals of customers,
- analyses notices to identify possible irregularities, causes and places of their occurrence and to identify products, services or activities affected by such irregularities,
- takes remedial action.
The appropriate unit as a result of its responsibilities and the subject matter of the notice
- takes remedial action to eliminate irregularities;
- provides information on the remedial action taken and the date and method of its implementation to the Office of the Customer’s Ombudsman and to the unit handling the complaint.
This approach to the complaint handling process means that individual notices lead to the implementation of beneficial solutions for not only the notifying person, but also other customers.
The implementation of remedial action is monitored by the Office of the Customer’s Ombudsman.
Complaints process in the remaining entities of the Group
Procedures for accepting and handling customer complaints are implemented and followed in all the Group’s entities. These procedures
- have been specified in the form of internal entity procedures / regulations,
- are included in the regulations and contained in the agreements concluded with customers or
- arise from the provisions of the generally applicable law.
Complaints are handled reliably and objectively, taking into account all the information and documents related to the problem reported by the customer and in accordance with the provisions of the law and concluded agreements.
Most entities in the Group are subject to the Act on handling complaints by financial market entities and on the Financial Ombudsman, which regulates this process in detail.
Indicators of the complaints process
In 2017, the Group received a total of over 213k notices (including over 202k received by the Bank, mainly customer complaints). Of all the cases, over 60% have been fully or partially settled in the customer’s favour.
Number of complaints in the Group, including the Bank (2017)
|GROUP||of which BANK|
|Total number of notices||213,156||202,041|
|support of the PFSA and other external institutions of customer cases||n.a.||1,018|
|Number of cases fully or partially settled in the customer’s favour||128,6141|
|share in the total number of notices/appeals/appearances in support (%)|
1 The number does not include KREDOBANK SA, which is planning to introduce a distinction between accepted and rejected complaints in 2018.
2 The share of the number of cases accepted in the total number of notices does not include the data for KREDOBANK SA.
Customer satisfaction survey
During the dialogue with customers regarding, among others, the products offered, customer satisfaction surveys are conducted at the Bank, which are divided into two main segments: the retail customer and corporate customer. Most of the Group’s entities do not conduct customer satisfaction surveys, as they do not have their own sales network.
Retail customer satisfaction surveys
In its activities, PKO Bank Polski SA attaches a great deal of importance to customer satisfaction. This is reflected in the Bank’s Strategy for 2016–2020 “We support the development of Poland and Poles”, one of the strategic objectives of which is customer satisfaction.
According to the Strategy, customer satisfaction and building lasting relations with the customer are the driving force behind the Bank’s growth. Maximizing the Customer Satisfaction Index and maintaining retention rates below the market average are a long-term strategic objective. The strategic objectives are reflected in the initiatives that translate into specific actions intended to aim towards increasing customer satisfaction.
With regard to retail customers, the Bank conducts 2 types of a satisfaction survey:
- Relational research – conducted in all customer segments, including SMEs, measuring the strength of the relationship with the Bank and satisfaction with the cooperation with the Bank in general terms, encompassing the whole of the customer’s experience.
- Transactional research – performed at the key points of contact between the customer and the Bank, immediately after the event, measuring satisfaction with a given interaction, which is defined in space and time.
Both the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Index indicators are used in both types of survey.
Customer satisfaction surveys are usually conducted using telephone interviews. Relational research is most frequently outsourced to external research companies, while transactional research is conducted with the Bank’s own resources.
Overall, in 2017, the Bank held almost 40,000 interviews with retail customers using various methods (through telephone interviews or surveys in the transaction system). Plans for 2018 encompass approximately 150,000 interviews.
Corporate customer satisfaction surveys
In 2016, PKO Bank Polski changed its approach to the Group’s corporate customer satisfaction surveys by introducing the NPS system. This process was continued in 2017, placing a great deal of emphasis in customer interviews on delving deeper into and better understanding the feedback received from customers. The personalization of the surveys and the use of open-ended questions allowing customers to provide a longer response served this purpose.
It is important for the Bank to incorporate the analysis of the research results into the rhythm of the organization’s work, enabling the better identification of customer needs and areas for improvement. The process of analysing corporate customer satisfaction is related to the rapid response system and the development of new initiatives. Dozens of initiatives were approved in 2017 on the basis of the opinions of customers that were gathered, most of which were implemented. A number of improvements were introduced into the new version of the iPKO Biznes electronic banking system, while the working hours of the iPKO dealer platform were extended.
The strengths of the Bank indicated in the surveys by corporate customers describe the Bank as an institution, the strengths of which are competent and committed employees, with smooth ongoing support, giving a sense of security of cooperation through the stability and commitment of Polish capital. Over 40% of customers in this segment would recommend PKO Bank Polski SA to another company.
A special approach to groups of disabled people
PKO Bank Polski actively increases the availability of its services to customers with special needs. It also initiates and jointly creates activities of other entities of the Polish financial sector intended to counteract exclusion from access to financial services.
The Bank is continuously improving the standard of customer service, including for disabled customers. The Bank’s policy here has been defined separately for the Bank and the Group’s entities. The main areas of the Bank’s activities encompassed by the policy with respect to the disabled are:
1) The choice of location and the adaptation of the arrangement of the branches
The Group’s branches satisfy all the norms specified in the regulations regarding the adaptation of buildings to the needs of the disabled.
Additionally, the principles of choosing locations and ensuring an arrangement of the Bank’s branches which is friendly for the disabled are set out in the internal regulations. The most important of these are:
- location along a main pedestrian route;
- availability of parking spaces;
- access for disabled people.
By the end of 2017, 741 branches, which is 65% of the total number, had been adapted to the needs of the disabled following the internal regulations, while parking spaces designated for the disabled were marked at 342 branches (30%).
2) Standard of fittings at the Bank’s outlets
- New Format of Branches
A pilot implementation of the New Format of Branches (NFB) was introduced in 2017, in which new solutions and technologies were used to help serve customers at the branch, develop self-service channels and digitize sales processes. This format takes into account the recommendations of the Integration Foundation, which audited on contract to the Bank the available space for customers. The conclusions from the audit regarding disabled people are also taken into account at new sites for branches, as well as branches being relocated and modernized. The NFB will also encompass the Bank’s agencies.
- Support of the hard of hearing and the deaf
The bank is also constantly raising the standard of service of the deaf and the hard of hearing. It has been implementing a programme using Polish Sign Language since 2016. The advisers have been trained on the basics of sign language, while their work posts have been equipped with tablets enabling them to connect to a translator. At the end of 2017, 29 branches had “sign language” positions. The Bank is planning to increase this number in 2018.
- Support of the blind and visually impaired
The Bank also makes it easier for blind and visually impaired customers to use financial services – the number of ATMs equipped with a panel equipped with a Braille alphabet and an audio module is steadily increasing. At the end of 2017, of 3,190 ATMs, 1,801 were equipped with audio modules. Information on the location of such devices can be found on the Bank’s website and, next year, this information will also be provided by the Polish Bank Association.
- Separate premises in branches
The bank assures the possibility of individual service, adapted to the type and degree of the customer’s disability, whereas in situations requiring this, it offers services in a separate, comfortable and safe room.
- Fingerprint signature
The Bank has made it possible for people, who are unable to sign documents on their own because of their degree of disability, to take advantage of a fingerprint option.
3) Facilitations in modern banking
The IKO application, telephone service and electronic banking have been designed with account taken of the needs of the disabled.
Other conveniences for customers while using the Group’s products
The Bank offers its products and services to millions of customers and uses all available tools – both traditional (branches, agencies) and modern (electronic, mobile and social networking), constantly modernizing them and introducing further conveniences, including, for instance:
- In 2017, the Bank started to equip branches with self-service stations, which all individual and business customers who have cards attached to the bank account are able to use. The bank is planning to gradually fit them in further branches and expand the scope of their functionality.
- The speed and convenience of service continued to improve in 2017. The achievement of this objective served the purpose of, among others, the initiative of reducing the number of paper documents in customer service processes.
- The number of child-friendly branches of the Bank was increased in 2017, where adults – during visits to the branch – are able to leave their children in specially arranged play corners. At the end of 2017, 70% of branches had an area dedicated to children; the interest shown in such a solution means that this percentage will be increased.
- Polish companies present on the German and Czech markets can count on direct support through foreign branches of the Bank – in Frankfurt am Main and Prague. Banking services are offered by KREDOBANK SA, a member of the Group, to businesses operating in Ukraine.