The net loan portfolio for the Citadele Group grew by 6% to EUR 1.24 billion in 2016. This growth reflects Citadele’s strategy of being an active player in small and medium business loans in the Baltic states, as well as in consumer loans in Latvia and Lithuania. Over the course of 2016, the amount of customer deposits also grew by 13%; at the end of the year, the total deposit amount in Citadele Group banks reached EUR 2.92 billion.
Citadele Chairman of the Board Guntis Beļavskis: “In 2016 Citadele continued to implement its strategy, ensuring our position as the friendliest local bank for customers. In the middle of last year, Citadele received the Euromoney award for Central and Eastern Europe’s Best Bank Transformation and the recognition that the bank is in a good position to serve Latvia’s economic recovery. However, the highest recognition comes from seeing how many more customers are using Citadele’s internet banking system, mobile app or payment cards for everyday purchases; when they start using the bank for big milestone projects in their lives; or when they choose Citadele to support the development of their small business or farmstead. We receive this highest acknowledgement more and more often: the number of customers who use Citadele’s services is growing both among businesses and private individuals. It is growing in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.”
In 2016 the Citadele Group developed a new mobile app allowing bank services to be accessed without code cards or code calculators, using the safe MobileSCAN authorisation tool which is built into the app. Over the course of the year, the number of the bank’s active clients who use the bank for everyday purchases grew by over 18%, spending on average at least EUR 200 on purchases with their card. Citadele developed its micro loans for small and medium businesses and farmers, issuing loans up to EUR 20,000 without collateral. In consumer loans, Citadele introduced a new approach by offering the opportunity for people to assess their creditworthiness online - a personalized amount and interest rate. At the end of 2016, Citadele’s subordinated bonds were listed in the regulated market for the first time; Citadele attracted EUR 40 million in new funding from the issuance of these subordinated bonds, which was invested in the bank’s subordinated capital.
The largest proportion of loans in the Citadele group have been issued in Latvia. In 2016 in Latvia, Citadele issued EUR 155 million in loans to corporate clients and small and medium businesses. In one year, the amount issued in loans in this segment has grown by 19% compared to 2015. The largest number of loans were issued to customers in the agricultural sector. The loan portfolio issued to private individuals in Latvia in 2016 grew by EUR 33 million or 12%, reaching EUR 315 million by the end of the year. The bank issued amounts of roughly 3.5 times more in consumer loans than the year before - in 2015 the amount was 10 million, while in 2016 it was 35 million. In 2016 Citadele continued its development in the leasing segment; over the course of the year, the leasing portfolio in Latvia grew by 18%, reaching EUR 67 million.
AB Citadele bankas in Lithuania, belonging to the Citadele Group, successfully developed its operations in both the private customer and business segments. AB Citadele bankas’ credit portfolio in 2016 grew by 17%, reaching EUR 278 million by the end of the year. Over the course of the year, the deposit amount grew by 24% in Lithuania, with the deposit portfolio reaching EUR 420 million. At the end of 2016, the total credit portfolio in Estonia reached EUR 97 million, which is an increase of 20% compared with 2015.
AS “Citadele banka” Group generated a EUR 40.7 million profit in 2016, which is 56% more than in 2015. The profit growth in 2016 was significantly influenced by the EUR 11.3 million income from the sale of Visa Europe shares belonging to Citadele, to Visa Inc. Excluding the one-time income from the sale of Visa shares, the income from Citadele Group operations grew by 9%, demonstrating successful development. The quality of the Citadele Group assets also continued to improve in 2016. The Group’s NPL ratio reached 9.9% at the end of 2016 compared to 10.8% a year ago.