With an award-winning multi-channel distribution platform and the country’s highest net promoter scores for its customer experience, Georgia’s TBC Bank invited allen international to take the branch concept to the next level in terms of customer service delivery. Douglas Blakey reports on the resulting locations
The brief from TBC to allen international: to redefine the customer experience by encouraging increased engagement levels with products, services and advisers.
With a branch network of 128 outlets, TBC ranked second in the country by assets at the time of the commission (behind Bank of Georgia) with loans and deposits market shares of 28.4% and 29.2% respectively.
The new branch design offers clearly defined zones for retail, SME and affluent segment (dubbed Status by TBC), with concise customer journeys via interactive touchpoints throughout the store.
allen international design director John Dunlop tells RBI: “The breakthrough design for the bank minimises physical and psychological barriers between the bank and its customers, thus creating a unique, customer-centric layout.
“The new concept was developed specifically for TBC Bank as a result of a comprehensive tailored study of the bank’s existing branches and its clients’ needs and aspirations.”
Dunlop said that the project will transform the bank’s entire branch network. Eight pilot branches have already been completed and the new design concept will be used as a blueprint for all new-builds.
TBC has now kicked off retrospective refurbishing of the remaining outlets with an ambitious plan to retrofit around 25-30 units a year.
TBC’s ambitions are clear from its ongoing acquisition strategy, highlighted by two recent deals.
In a relatively modest deal, TBC is snapping up selected assets and liabilities of JSC Progress Bank, a small local Georgian bank. The acquisition consists of GEL108m ($46.8m) of assets and GEL108m of liabilities.
The second deal, announced on 12 September, is at the opposite scale and transformative. TBC agreed to acquire a 93.6% stake in Bank Republic for GEL315m from Société Générale.
TBC combined with Bank Republic will create the largest bank in Georgia by loans and deposits, and increase TBC’s loans market share by 7.3 percentage points to 35.7%.
Its deposits market share will grow by 5.3 percentage points to 34.5% after the deal.
According to TBC, pre-tax cost synergies from the acquisition have been estimated at approximately GEL21m, derived primarily from marketing, consulting costs, streamlining of other administrative expenses as well as from moderate branch network optimisation.
TBC has estimated integration costs of about GEL23m. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2016
TBC is also in talks to acquire the remaining 6.4% stake in Bank Republic, owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
According to Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, CEO of TBC: “Bank Republic is an excellent strategic fit for TBC given its focus on the mortgage and consumer lending segments, complemented by an attractive product offering for large multinationals operating in Georgia.”