- Further improvements and upgrades in the Bank’s range of digital products
- Number of active customers reached 313 thousand clients at the end of 2019, increase of 14 thousand customers in Q4
- The Group’s net profit in 2019 reached EUR 36.5 million; EUR 9.3 million in Q4
- Total net loan portfolio increased by EUR 177 million (13% growth) from year end 2018, reaching EUR 1,573 million.
- EUR 590 million issued in new loans to Baltic private, SME and corporate customers in 2019
- Domestic deposits increased by EUR 624 million, or 30% growth year-to-date
- Citadele has agreed to acquire UniCredit’s leasing operations in the Baltics with its lease portfolio of more than EUR 850 million
In Q4 2019 Citadele Group continued to demonstrate a strong financial performance, growing customer bases across core business segments and further implementation of new and improved daily banking services.
High client activity
We are pleased to see that our effort to provide the best possible client service and products, continuous digital channel development and the convenience of remote services have resulted in increased customer activity.
Since the beginning of the year, Mobile App users and Internet bank customers increased by 64% and 10%, respectively, reaching 131 thousand active Mobile App users and 190 thousand active Internet Bank customers. Increase in Q4 constituted 12% growth for Mobile App users and 4% growth for Internet bank customers.
The number of active customers reached 313 thousand clients at the end of 2019, an increase of 42 thousand customers (16% growth). In Q4 the number of active customers increased by 14 thousand.
Innovative products and services
Throughout 2019, Citadele continued to develop and launch innovative digital solutions, products and services to meet customer expectations across multiple channels. We have launched consumer loans via Mobile App, in-store payments by smartphone, instant card and POS terminal issuance, and P2P payments to mobile phone numbers for private customers. In Q4, we launched an interactive online platform, finoterapija.lv, offering free automated financial consultation.
Bank with the best customer service in Latvia
Our commitment of providing the best customer service enabled Citadele to maintain the top position among banks in Latvia, according to the annual mystery shopper survey conducted by international customer service evaluation company DIVE. Citadele was announced as the bank with the best customer service in Latvia for the fifth time.
Focus on Baltic private and corporate customers
Citadele continued to increase its lending footprint in both retail and corporate banking sectors, achieving 13% growth year-on-year (increase of EUR 177 million). Loan portfolio reached EUR 1,573 million as of 31 December 2019. Loan portfolio in Q4 increased by EUR 59 million (4% growth).
Strong progress was also made in deposit gathering, where the Group increased Baltic deposits by EUR 624 million during 2019. Total deposits increased by 24% since year end 2018 and were EUR 3,290 million.
Expanding Baltic assets, leasing footprint
Following Citadele’s long-term goal to become the leading financial services provider in the Baltics for private customers and SMEs, Citadele has entered into a binding agreement with UniCredit S.p.A. to acquire 100% of the shares of SIA UniCredit Leasing and its subsidiary SIA UniCredit Insurance Broker. The acquisition, pending regulatory approvals, is expected to close in Q1 2020, and would increase Citadele Bank's leasing portfolio by EUR 850 million, to a total of EUR 1.1 billion.
We believe that UniCredit Leasing is one of the best-established players in the region, with a leading presence in all three Baltic countries. It has an innovative and user-friendly product proposition, and robust operating and controlling systems. Its business profile is complementary with Citadele and would provide the Group with a viable platform for further growth across target customer segments and markets.
Subordinated bonds issue
The Bank’s Management Board has approved plans to launch Citadele’s Third Unsecured Subordinated Bonds Programme and issue new Subordinated Bonds of up to EUR 30 million. Proceeds from the offer are to be used for general business development and to further strengthen the Group’s capital base.