Internetbank for iPad, round-the-clock Client Line, and other New Year news

Riga, Latvia, December 19, 2013, 14:58 / Banking

More comfortable and easily accessible customer service offices, wider investment opportunities, improved payment safety, convenient implementation of the euro, availability of the bank’s services any time, and broader range of communication means – these are the main objectives of introducing innovations in our products and services that are implemented for our clients convenience.

1. Three new offices

Stretching operations to new business regions, from December this year ABLV Group will be also represented in Cyprus, where another regional office of ABLV Consulting Services, AS, will be opened in Limassol to welcome current and prospective customers. This is already the twelfth representative office of ABLV Group abroad. In Limassol, we will advice current and prospective customers on banking, investment, and advisory services offered by ABLV Group.

Whereas in the territory of New Hanza City in Riga, at 28a Pulkveža Brieža Street, new office building of ABLV Group real estate development and trading company Pillar has been constructed. The new office of Pillar will be opened in February 2014.

Also in February 2014, the bank’s mortgage loans centre will return to premises at 21a Elizabetes Street in Riga. The centre will be located in one of the most exclusive real estate projects in Riga — Elizabetes Park House, in the commercial premises on the first and second floor. Consequently, loans centre Marija will be closed, having been rendering services to customers during nine years already. All customer service will be virtually concentrated in one place, at 21a Elizabetes Street, to ensure optimization, and we will provide new service level to mortgage borrowers.

2. Wider investment opportunities

We have already informed that two more public bond issues are launched under ABLV Bank bond issue programme. The bank’s customers can subscribe to the coupon bond issues amounting to USD 50 million and EUR 20 million until 11 February 2014.

In 2013, the range of our open-end mutual funds was increased by four more funds:

  • corporate bond funds with moderate investment strategy and balanced risk level, aimed at achieving capital growth, considerably higher that that under term deposits, by investing the fund’s assets in companies’ bonds that ensure high coupon yield and good market liquidity:
    • ABLV European Corporate EUR Bond Fund, the assets of which are invested in companies of the European Union member states, Norway, Turkey, and Switzerland;
    • ABLV Global Corporate USD Bond Fund, the assets of which are invested in companies of the countries issuing bonds in USD. Those are mainly the USA, as well as countries of Latin America, Asia, and Europe;
  • stock funds with moderately aggressive investment strategy and increased risk level, aimed at achieving long-term capital growth:
    • ABLV European Industry EUR Equity Fund — the fund’s assets are invested in ETF securities, which replicate the structure of stocks of commercial companies operating in different economy sectors that are traded on regulated markets of European countries;
    • ABLV US Industry USD Equity Fund — the fund’s assets are invested in ETF securities, which replicate the structure of stocks of commercial companies operating in different economy sectors that are traded on the US regulated markets.

Just like other mutual funds, the new ones are also managed by ABLV Asset Management, IPAS. The investment certificates of all new funds already can be acquired by our customers.

3. Trading platform for independent operations in the US stock market

In January 2014, our customers who wish to use the opportunities offered by stock market and make decisions on purchase and sale of financial instruments on their own will be offered new trading platform Orbis Trader ABLV. It will ensure access to the US stock market — NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX stock exchanges.

4. More information on financial instruments in the Internetbank

For trading in financial instruments, custody and accounting of those, as well as fast settlements under transactions, are essential. Therefore, we offer new Internetbank opportunities to our customers.

  • Already this winter, trade confirmation will be received faster in the Internetbank – on the day following the transaction conclusion (T+1).
  • From October 2013, coupon and dividend payments will be displayed as two transactions in the cash account statement in case tax is withheld: gross amount of coupon or dividend payments and withheld tax amount, also stating the applied tax rate.
  • In January 2014, information on derivative financial instruments and transactions in those will be also displayed under the customers’ portfolios in the Internetbank.
  • Also from January, we will be able to timely inform the customers via the Internetbank about corporate events of the issuers, where customers’ decisions are needed.

5. Increased security for payments

Recently, Internet fraud became an especially acute problem, and virtually all banking sector is currently combating it. We also introduce new techniques and procedures to ensure safety and protection of your assets.

We have unique risk management and transaction monitoring system, which was initially supposed for detecting and blocking fraudulent payment card transactions. In 2013, we introduced system rules for responding to suspicious payments or user activity in the Internetbank.

Now Internetbank events are monitored online. The system automatically suspends suspicious payments and passes those for manual check. The payment is executed only after receiving the customer’s confirmation.

6. Convenient implementation of the euro

On 1 January 2014, Latvia will join the euro zone, and euro will become our official currency. As we informed earlier, the process of switching services in LVL to EUR will be as convenient as possible.

  • In the night of 1 January 2014, all funds in LVL held in accounts will be automatically exchanged to EUR at official exchange rate of 1 EUR = 0.702804 LVL, and all account numbers will remain unchanged.
  • After automatic change of account currency, the payment cards linked to existing accounts in LVL will be payment cards in EUR. The current rates and charges on euro payment cards will be applied to those.
  • Card credits will be exchanged to euro automatically, applying the official exchange rate.
  • Reports on accounts in LVL will be also available in the Internetbank after euro implementation. To receive those, it is necessary to choose the number of the account that previously was in LVL and check the option “Multicurrency report”.

7. New conditions and rates and charges for payments in EUR and USD

Due to euro implementation in Latvia, from 1 January 2014 rates and charges for payments will be changed as follows:

  • for all individuals and Latvian legal entities, the fee for standard payment in EUR within the European Economic Area (28 member states of the EU, Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein) in the Internetbank will be reduced to EUR 0.35 (earlier, the fee for payments in LVL was equal to LVL 0.35 and for payments in EUR – to EUR 15). The fee for urgent payments in EUR within the EEA will be also considerably lower — EUR 0.50;
  • for all individuals and Latvian legal entities, the fee for intrabank payment in EUR in the Internetbank will be just EUR 0.20;
  • whereas for foreign legal entities, the fees for payments in EUR will remain unchanged — the fees for payments via the Internetbank will be EUR 4 for intrabank payment, EUR 15 for standard outgoing payment, and EUR 30 for urgent outgoing payment.

In the middle of December, we opened new USD correspondent account in the USA — with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., New York Branch. It is the largest bank in the world in terms of assets, and as at the end of Q3 2013 its assets exceeded USD 3 trillion. We will soon update the list of main correspondent accounts.

Application of additional fee to payments in USD is postponed till 1 April 2014. We would like to remind that additional fee of 0.1% of the payment amount (max. USD 500) will be applied to payments of foreign legal entities, if all of the following conditions are true:

  • the beneficiary state is included in the list of tax-free countries of Latvian Cabinet;
  • the beneficiary bank state is not Latvia;
  • the beneficiary state is different from the beneficiary bank state.

8. New opportunities of using Latvian companies

For convenience of foreign legal entities and for the sake of reducing expenses, our affiliate company ABLV Corporate Services will offer the service of establishing a company in Latvia. Thus foreign legal entities will be able to reduce costs, use tax benefits of Latvian holding companies, have more advantageous borrowing conditions and payment fees, and also gain other benefits.

9. We become accessible to customers round-the-clock

Improving work of our Client Line, from this day on we will ensure the possibility to contact us any time — 24/7, calling at +371 6777 5555.

Depending on the particular situation, the Client Line specialists will be able to assist on the following issues:

  • blocking of the Internetbank, authorization tools, and payment cards;
  • unblocking of digipass or PIN-codes of payment cards;
  • changing of the Internetbank passwords;
  • informing about card account balances and transactions;
  • performing payment card activation;
  • increasing the limit for cash withdrawal from ATMs.

10. Improved iPhone Internetbank and completely new one for iPad

Use of the Internetbank will become even more convenient for customers, since in February 2014 we will offer improved Internetbank application for iPhone and new application developed for iPad.

iPad application is developed in compliance with our brand; it is new, suitable to iPad features, and intuitive. It is essential that functionality of the application will be as similar to that of the standard Internetbank as possible.

We have also added the following new features to the Internetbank application for iPhone:

  • account report, report on blocked amounts;
  • payment cards and change of their statuses;
  • execution of intrabank payments and currency exchange;
  • sending of own details via SMS or e-mail.

Ilmārs Jargans
Head of Public Relations Department
+371 6777 5296