OREANDA-NEWS. The press service of Raiffeisenbank (a subsidiary of Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Bank International) reported about plans to close all its branches in five Russian cities (Sochi, Kursk, Saransk, Kirov and Zheleznogorsk) and transfer the service of its customers to a digital format. In these cities, the digital service format was tested over the past year.

“The choice of cities for the transition to a digital service format was made according to data on the demand for offices, as well as the previous success of launching a digital model in more than 100 cities,” the report says.

In total, the bank plans to reorganize its work in 22 Russian cities, in particular in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Volgograd, Voronezh, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and other large cities. By the end of March 2020, the network of bank branches will consist of more than 130 offices in 44 cities of Russia while nowadays there are 174 branches.

The Chairman of the Board of Raiffeisenbank Sergei Monin said that the remote digital service model will allow to increase the number of clients in Russia by 1.5 times in the next few years. The press service of the bank noted that this year, the investments in digital services has almost doubled and it will continue to grow next year.

According to the Central Bank of Russia, last year, Russian banks reduced the number of branches by more than 10 % – to 31.7 thousand. German Gref, the head of the largest bank of the country Sberbank, said that in 2018, for the first time there was a decrease in client flow in the offices.