Citadele Bank (Latvia)
The first quarter of 2020 the Group’s daily operations have been successfully adjusted to ensure business continuity and safety under Covid-19 conditions. Citadele has taken extensive precautionary measures to protect the Bank’s employees, clients and partners, and implemented a series of actions to minimize disruption to the Group’s operations during this period, while new solutions have been introduced to ensure uninterrupted client services.
The demand for remote services has seen a marked increase in Q1 2020, for example, the number of clients opening accounts remotely has tripled in March.
The Bank is currently focused on ensuring uninterrupted access to financial services and necessary support to its clients and partners across the Baltics. All main financial services are available to customers remotely, while branches continue to offer appointment-only meetings to customers who need or prefer to be serviced in person.
Since March 17 Citadele has been actively offering its support to affected businesses and private individuals, enabling such clients to postpone repayment of loan principal. As of April, Citadele has joined sector-wide moratoriums in Latvia and Lithuania that simplify the grace period request process for customers.
The banking sector’s ability to transfer capital plays a critical function in society, and this importance is reinforced in difficult times such as now. In Q1 2020, Citadele continued to enable capital to flow to where it is needed the most, as EUR 119 million of new loans were issued to Baltic private, SME and corporate customers.
Strong progress was also continued in deposit gathering, where the Group increased Baltic deposits by EUR 79 million during Q1 2020. The total customer deposits increased by 6% since year-end 2019 and reached EUR 3,485 million.
The number of active customers increased by 43 thousand y-o-y (16% growth) and reached a record high 317 thousand clients as of 31 March 2020. In Q1 2020, the number of active clients increased by 4 thousand.
Compared to the same time a year ago, the number of Mobile App and Internet bank customers has increased by 59% and 12%, respectively, reaching 140 thousand active Mobile App users and 196 thousand active Internet Bank customers. In Q1 2020, the number of active clients increased by 9 thousand Mobile App users and 3 thousand Internet Bank customers.
The development of new products and services continued in Q1 2020. Citadele was among the first banks to launch Apple Pay in the Baltics; the Bank has also developed and launched Klix in Latvia - an e-commerce solution enabling streamlined e-commerce customer experience.
While the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have had a negative impact on Q1 2020 financial results, the underlying business remained strong with operating income reaching EUR 27,4 million. Accounting for additional impairments of EUR 15,4 million due to expected deterioration in the economic environment, the Bank experienced a net loss of EUR 7,5 million in Q1 2020.
As of today, Citadele continues to operate from a position of strength with capital and liquidity ratios well above regulatory requirements.
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