International credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service has published an upgrade of AS “Citadele banka” (Citadele Bank) deposit rating from Ba2 to Ba1, maintaining a positive outlook.
The main reason for upgrading Citadele Bank’s rating, according to Moody's, is the result of the progress made in implementing the Baltic focused growth strategy. The rating upgrade is also based on higher capitalization, increasing profitability, declining of problem loans, the strengthening of the bank’s governance and continued reduction of non-resident business.
Moody’s positive outlook reflects expectation of a continued progress with further improvements in the context of a supportive operating environment, a strengthened governance, and a continued increase of Citadele's market shares in the Baltics despite the increasing competition.
Guntis Beļavskis, CEO of Citadele Bank, said: “Citadele, since its inception, but especially after attracting world class investor group, along with EBRD, has demonstrated that a local bank can grow and prosper in Baltics in a tough competitive environment with international players. This upgrade is another step towards our strategic goal to become true Baltic champion for retail and small and medium business customers, and we are proud of this recognition. Our strategic initiatives in digital space, aspiration to be the primary bank of choice and prudent approach to risk, point to an exciting period ahead of Citadele.”
In the first half of 2018, Citadele Group’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) was 18.0%, net profit was EUR 18.0 million, Group’s deposits were EUR 2.65 billion, and the net loan portfolio reached EUR 1.36 billion.
Citadele Bank’s shareholders are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and an international group 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, unique products. In 2017 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.