Bank Citadele – communication campaign of restructuring and launch of the new brand Summary One the back of the liquidity crunch one of the TOP 3 banks in Latvia was taken over by the State in order to preserve the stability of Latvian financial sector. After stabilisation of the situation; a new shareholder – the EBRD – was attracted and the Bank’s restructuring was started. As a result new bank with a new brand was created and clients from former Parex banka were transferred to the new bank – bank Citadele. In a time of a crisis and in every changing situation a wide integrated communication campaign about the restructuring and split of Parex banka was carried out, including extensive public relations, internal communication and marketing activities. All activities were organised by the Bank’s internal team, also coordinating the work of out-source providers – creative agency, event organisers. All communication activities were based on providing extensive information to the target audiences in 13 countries, using as much direct communication as possible and organising special events for target audiences in order to explain all issues and answer all concerns in person. As soon as in August 2010 more than 88% of Latvian inhabitants have heard about establishment of bank Citadele and its brand. Especially good results were achieved in the groups with higher income (more than 99% with income above 600 LVL). The Bank’s client base stabilised and new business was attained – deposits grew and new loans were issued.Situation One the back of the liquidity crunch one of the TOP 3 banks in Latvia was taken over by the State in order to preserve the stability of Latvian financial sector. After the stabilisation of the situation; a new shareholder – the EBRD – was attracted and the Bank’s restructuring was started. As a result new bank with a new brand was created and clients from former Parex banka were transferred to the new bank. The brand of Parex banka is related to crisis and very negative attitude of Latvian inhabitants. The Bank’s restructuring is highly dependent on political situation and functionaries; hence, the Bank may not recon with precise timings and other preconditions.
Objectives To preserve existing client base and to motivate clients to stay with the New Bank after the crisis, taking into account extensive competition in the market. To ensure effective communication in all target audiences before the actual split date, including communication of the new brand, providing objective information of the slit process and creation of the positive informational background for the new Bank’s operations: - To enhance the clients’ loyalty, - To motivate the Bank’s employees, - To inform all target audiences about the restructure process. Target audiences: Clients, potential clients, employees, shareholders and investors, Eurobond owners and holders of other financial instruments, syndicated lenders and financial institutions, opinion leaders and brand specialists in Latvia, media and general public.Strategy In order to ensure effective communication in all target audiences about the restructuring process all communication activities were based on providing extensive information to the target audiences in 13 countries, using as much direct communication as possible and organising special events for target audiences in order to explain all issues and answer all concerns in person. - To communicate bank’s Citadele new brand to the main target audiences by organising a series of brand opening and client events; hence, drawing a virtual line between old bank and new bank and creating a stable base for sufficient brand communication in the mid-term; - To inform the main target audiences about the restructuring process by establishing new information channel - jaunabanka.lv, gathering all information about the restructuring process, opinions and comments by experts, State institution and the Bank’s representatives, as well as Q&A), the website was launched 2 months prior to the split date and later was integrated in the website of bank Citadele.Execution All communication activities were developed dependant on several important dates in the restructuring process of Parex banka, putting the main emphasis on: 1. Information a. Through the Bank’s channels (websites in 13 languages and countries) b. Development of new communication channels (www.jaunabanka.lv) c. Direct mailings to clients and collaboration partners, clients of resolution bank (Parex banka) d. Extensive internal communications campaign e. And indirectly through media relations activities f. Media campaign (interviews, comments and opinions, interviews, media kits to regional media etc., supported by the advertising campaign closer to the split date) 2. Direct communication a. Instructions and Q&A for client managers and hotline employees 3. Special events a. New brand reveal event for defined 200 guests and photo opportunity for news media,
b. Events for media(Press conference with Parex banka and bank Citadele management after the split), c. Events for clients (top corporate client conference, event for top private banking clients from the CIS, meeting with the new management, marking of first 150 customers of bank Citadele on the day of opening), d. Internal forums and manager meetings. This solution ensured that all of target audiences were informed not only about the new brand, but also about the planned transfer; thus, enabling the bank Citadele to start operations without any major disturbances in the communication field.Documented Results All communication activities ensured achieving of the set goals: - The public was well informed about the restructuring of Parex banka and establishment of bank Citadele; affirmed by the results of snapshot poll, showing that 88% of Latvia’s inhabitants have heard about establishment of bank Citadele and its brand. Especially good results were achieved in the groups with higher income; - In July and August 2010 the 12 spokespersons of both bank Citadele and Parex banka were among top 20 in the Latvian media. - In the first days after the split more than 6490 visits from 52 countries to bank’s Citadele websites. - Although in June 2010 Parex banka had the greatest number of publicity (1194), it had the largest amount of negative publications (91). While in July and August 2010 share of voice peaked both for Parex banka(35 and 33%) and bank Citadele (17% and 16%). In August both banks had the highest publicity efficiency index – 38.37% and 38.24% respectively. The positive and neutral publicity reached 98% and only 2% of publications were fairly negative. - Clients were well informed about the split process and received the split calmly, - Direct communication with the most crucial target audiences was ensured, - An increase in the Bank’s business was observed, including 18% increase in deposits (compared to July 2010), stabilisation of the client base.Bank Citadele – Media room URL http://www.citadelebank.com/en/media- room/Major dates of restructuring - retrospect http://www.citadele.lv/lv/about/history/Main questions about Citadele brand http://www.citadele.lv/lv/about/about- citadele/faq/