Citadele Bank

In Q1 2024 Citadele has issued 256 million euros in new loans for Baltics

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Citadele continues to support the Baltic business community with financing for growth and expansion – new financing to support private, SME and corporate customers in the Baltic region has reached EUR 256 million in Q1. In Q1 2024, Citadele's total loan book reached EUR 2,911 million, marking a EUR 49 million increase compared to 31 December 2023.  

“Our Q1 results cement the strong performance of the bank and we see that our increased growth ambition is materializing and providing further support to the local economies. The financial standing of our customers is stable, and the quality of our portfolio remains strong. Citadele continues to operate with more than adequate capital and liquidity ratios. Economic and geopolitical uncertainty has led to a slower pace in evaluating strategic options. Nonetheless, despite the volatility, the bank continues to assess various strategic options, including the possibility of an IPO,” says Johan Åkerblom, Citadele CEO. 

Innovations and development in Q1 

Citadele is the first bank in the Baltics to introduce a GenAI-based chatbot named Adele. Adele is now live on the web in Latvia and will expand to all three Baltic countries during the first half of 2024.  

The mobile banking application has also received a new feature called the Task Tool, which allows parents to educate their children about finances by creating tasks that provide a financial reward upon completion.  

Sustainable financial services portfolio has expanded by the launch of new payment cards made of 95% recycled plastic. The new cards also include features to assist those with visual impairments, such as cut-outs on the edge to help identify the correct side for insertion into an ATM or card terminal. Additionally, the card name is printed in Braille to help differentiate between cards if a user has more than one.  

Klix, Citadele’s e-commerce checkout solution, reached 1,480 merchants, with its registered user base surpassing 306 thousand and active users reaching 46 thousand as of 31 March 2024. During Q1 2024, 3.8 million transactions were processed, with a total value of EUR 148 million. Klix "Buy Now, Pay Later" issuance reached EUR 8 million during Q1 2024, compared to EUR 11 million for the full year 2023. Several top-tier retailers, including global furniture retailer in the Baltics and Kesko Senukai Digital, went live with Klix during Q1 2024.  

Moody’s has affirmed Citadele ratings and changed the outlook to positive  

On 25 January 2024, the international credit rating agency Moody’s affirmed Citadele’s Baa2 credit rating and changed the outlook to positive. The outlooks on the long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings were changed to positive from stable, reflecting Moody’s view that Citadele’s capital will continue to strengthen during the next 12 to 18 months, supported by higher sustained profitability and stable credit quality. Upon affirmation of Citadele’s long-term Baa2 deposit rating and Baa3 senior unsecured debt rating, Moody’s has considered Citadele’s strong improvement in earnings during 2023 and forecast of continued strong earnings in coming quarters, increased capitalization and good credit quality.  

Citadele completed a three-times oversubscribed issuance of EUR 20 million bonds   

The strong demand resulting in a three-times oversubscribed issuance is a remarkable response that reflects the investors’ confidence in Citadele’s financial strength and strategic direction, and we appreciate trust from our investors, partners and clients. Bonds in total amount of EUR 20 million were issued with a ten-year maturity and a fixed interest rate of 8% per annum. The purpose of the issuance is to further strengthen Citadele’s regulatory capital structure, including use as Citadele’s subordinated capital (Tier 2 instruments) in accordance with the requirements of the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and any other applicable rules for Tier 2 capital. The bonds are listed on the Baltic Bond List of Nasdaq Riga.  

Changes in the Management Board  

Johan Akerblom, Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer has handed in his resignation from the bank and Citadele has announced the appointment of Rūta Ežerskiene, currently serving as a Member of the Management Board and Chief Retail Officer, as the new Chair of the Management Board and CEO, subject to regulatory approval. In conjunction with Rūta Ežerskienė’s appointment, Jean Yves Hocher has been appointed as Senior Advisor to the Management Board. Jean Yves Hocher’s extensive professional international banking experience will complement Rūta Ežerskienė’s vision, further strengthening the bank’s leadership team.  

Dividend payment  

Citadele has distributed dividends totalling EUR 50.6 million, equivalent to EUR 0.32 per share. This dividend payout is in line with Citadele’s 50% dividend policy. The payment serves as confirmation of the bank's sustained growth, robust capital position, and stable balance sheet.  

Financial indicators in Q1:

Operating income – EUR 57.8 million 

Net profit – EUR 25.6 million 

Citadele’s total loan book – EUR 2,911 million  

Customer deposits – EUR 3,737 million

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