Citadele Group announced its results for the third quarter of 2018, showing a continued expansion of its core business segments in the Baltics with improved daily banking services and innovative solutions for its customers. With revenue growth and deposit rating upgrade from Moody’s, the Group continues its expansion into a Baltic banking leader.
- Upgrade to Ba1 from Moody’s
- Continued release of digital features in mobile application
Net interest income up by 10% to EUR 61.1 million for 9 months 2018
- Loan portfolio increased by EUR 42 million since 31 December 2017. EUR 140.1 million new loans issued in Q3
- Capital adequacy ratio reached 18.3%
Overall Citadele Group’s performance in Q3 of 2018 was primarily driven by increased net interest income from the Baltic loan portfolio growth and improvements in portfolio margins. The Group’s net interest income grew by 10% in the 9 months ended 2018, as compared to the same period in 2017, reaching EUR 61.1 million. Despite continued pressure on commission and other income, net profit was marginally lower than previous year, reaching EUR 24.7 million for the 9 months ended 2018.
Guntis Beļavskis, CEO, Citadele, commented: “In the first nine months of this year, we continued to strengthen Citadele’s position as the innovator of financial services in the Baltics, releasing new digital features in online banking and mobile application. We continued our lending strategy in-line with the goal of being the leading banking service provider in the Baltics, issuing EUR 140 million of new loans during Q3 of 2018. The Group’s credit rating upgrade and positive outlook from Moody’s is proof of the Bank’s continued progress in implementing a Baltics-focused growth strategy, improved asset quality and capitalisation, with the capital adequacy ratio increasing to 18.3%. The Group’s liquidity position also remained strong, with LCR at 272% and loan-to-deposit ratio at 53% as of September 2018.”
Bank’s issued loans to corporate and private clients
The loan portfolio totalled EUR 1.37 billion at 3Q 2018, which is an increase of EUR 42 million since year end 2017. Loan portfolio growth was mainly impacted by the strong SME activities in the retail segment and leasing portfolios.
During the reporting period, the Group strengthened its capital adequacy ratio, which reached 18.3% as compared with 17.0% on 30 September 2017. The Group’s liquidity position remained strong, with LCR amounting to 272% and loan-to-deposit ratio at 53% as of 3Q 2018.
Biometrics and digital innovations
During the first nine months of 2018, the Group continued to launch and refine its innovative offering across the multiple channels – improved online banking and mobile app, continued upgrades to contactless payment terminals and new touchscreen ATMs. Furthermore, Citadele has become the first bank in Latvia with a mobile application using facial recognition for customer authentication and payment authorization. Face ID and touch identification for mobile app login, payments and card security management were introduced to provide fast, convenient and secure banking for Citadele’s customers.
Moody’s upgrades Citadele’s Deposit rating
In early October, international credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service published an upgrade of Group’s deposit rating from Ba2 to Ba1, maintaining a positive outlook. According to Moody's, the upgrade primarily resulted from the bank’s progress in implementing its Baltics-focused growth strategy, improving solvency, increasing profitability, lowering problem loans, strengthening governance, and reducing the non-resident business. Moody’s positive outlook reflects continued progress in the context of a supportive operating environment and market share growth in the Baltics.
Changes in the Supervisory Board
As part of the bank’s ongoing board reorganization and following the departure of Baroness Catherine Ashton from the Supervisory Board in September, two new Supervisory board members were elected and approved by the Financial and Capital Market Commission in October - Karina Saroukhanian and Sylvia Gansser-Potts.
Citadele Group’s shareholders are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and an international consortium of investors with global experience in the banking sector. The Citadele Group is managed from Latvia with subsidiaries and branches in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Switzerland. Citadele provides transactions and card payments, loans, deposits, investments, asset management and leasing services, as well as a range of exclusive and unique products. In 2018 one of the leading customer service evaluation and improvement companies in Central and Eastern Europe, Dive, acknowledged Citadele as the bank with the best customer service in Latvia and Lithuania.