- Overall business sentiment improved in Q3 2020. Business activity has returned to pre-covid levels and number of active customers reached all-time high for Citadele
- The number of active customers reached 322 thousand clients as of 30 September 2020, 8% growth y-o-y
- EUR 327 million issued in new loans to Baltic private, SME and corporate customers in 9 months 2020
- Baltic deposits continued to increase by EUR 258 million in 9 months 2020, 9% growth vs. year-end 2019
- Third quarter was closed with EUR 8.5 million profit and the Bank also expects year end with improved financials
- Moody’s upgraded Citadele credit rating to investment grade, assigning Baa3 with stable outlook
The Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact global economy in Q3 2020. The Baltic region in Q3 has fared better than many other countries, resulting in smaller GDP decline than the rest of euro area so far.
Overall business sentiment improved in Q3 2020. Customer activity increased and number of new customers onboarded reached almost 5 thousand new clients, 55% increase q-o-q. Active customers reached 322 thousand clients as of 30 September 2020, or 8% growth y-o-y.
Mobile App users and Internet bank customers increased by 18% and 4% y-o-y, respectively, reaching 139 thousand active Mobile App users and 192 thousand active Internet Bank customers.
EUR 327 million issued in new loans to Baltic private, SME and corporate customers
New lending to Baltic private, SME and corporate customers reached EUR 327 million in 9 months 2020, of which EUR 141 million were issued in Q3 2020, twice as much as in Q2 2020. The total loan book was EUR 1,537 million, which is a slight decrease vs year end 2019.
Customer deposits reached EUR 3,542 million as of 30 September 2020, an increase of 8% compared to the end of 2019, indicating the financial strength of Citadele customer base.
Continued support to clients
Although the moratorium regarding united bank approach to granting grace periods on loan repayments ended in September, Citadele encourages its clients to contact the Bank promptly if they face unexpected financial challenges. Each case will be evaluated individually to find the best solution and help clients in short-term financial difficulties.
The number of requests for grace periods on loan repayments has remained comparatively low – 2.5 thousand applications end of September, of which 98% were submitted during first half of 2020. The credit quality of the Group’s loan portfolio remained stable with very minor changes during the period.
Innovations and development
In Q3 new product and service development continued. Responding to increasing demand of contactless payments, the bank introduced Payment rings as additional contactless payment method. X smart cards were introduced for students and junior, and X cards insurance coverage was upgraded by adding Covid-19 insurance while traveling and additional coverage, e.g. local and bicycle insurance, home help kit was prolonged until the end of the year.
Citadele credit rating upgraded to investment grade
On 29 September 2020, Moody’s has upgraded Citadele’s credit rating to Baa3 with stable outlook. The upgrade is mainly based on the improvement in the financial fundamentals of the Bank, the effects of the planned SIA UniCredit Leasing acquisition on the bank’s standalone credit profile, and higher capitalization and declining of problem loans. The UniCredit Leasing acquisition is expected to be closed as of end of 2020, as all regulatory approvals have been received and it is anticipated that Citadele will own SIA UniCredit Leasing in the Baltics from January 2021. This will give additional positive financial impact in 2021 and will bring further value to the Bank’s current and future clients and business partners.
Strong liquidity and capital ratios
As of today, Citadele continues to operate with capital and liquidity ratios well above regulatory requirements: CAR of 22.2% and LCR of 390% as of 30 September 2020.
While the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have had a negative impact on 9 months 2020 financial result, the Q3 results displays the strength of the underlying business with a net profit of EUR 8.5 million.
Sale of Head Quarter building
Citadele and Lords LB Baltic Green Fund (V) have signed an agreement on a change of ownership for Citadele’s head office building in Riga. The transaction will further strengthen the bank’s financial position. The impact from the transaction will be recognised during Q4 2020. The location of the headquarters of Citadele group and the branch will not change.
The Bank’s focus remains the safety and well-being of its customers and employees
Taking into account some lockdown measures which have been reintroduced in the Baltics and increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, Citadele has switched back to “visit by appointment only” principle in branches as of 30 September. The Bank’s employees are provided with Covid-19 health insurance and most of them are working remotely. Remote customer services such as Sky Branch, mobile and internet banking continue to be available and widely utilised by customers.