De Volksbank posts first-half 2018 net profit of € 149 million

Banking with a human touch mission further implemented

Commercial developments

  • New mortgages: market share in mortgages higher at 7.5% (2017: 6.8%); 12% increase in new mortgage production to € 2.9 billion (first-half 2017: € 2.6 billion)
  • Mortgage portfolio: retail mortgage portfolio grew by € 880 million to € 46.7 billion (year-end 2017: € 45.9 billion)
  • Current accounts: market share in new current accounts of 23% (2017: 20%); net growth current account customers of 33,000 to 1.44 million
  • Savings: 2% growth in retail savings to € 37.7 billion; market share of 10.6% (2017: 10.7%)

Financial performance

  • Result: net profit of € 149 million: a decrease compared to the first half of 2017 (€ 187 million); slight increase compared to the second half of 2017 (€ 142 million)
  • Income: decrease in total income by € 49 million to € 480 million, due to lower realised results on fixed-income investments (exceptionally high in the first half of 2017) and 4% lower net interest income; slight increase in interest margin and net interest income (+2%) compared to the second half of 2017
  • Expenses: operating expenses excluding regulatory levies € 1 million higher at € 272 million; 6% decrease compared to the second half of 2017; impact efficiency measures and lower non-credit risk related provisions partly offset by higher expenses for regulatory and compliance-related projects and increased commercial activities
  • Impairment charges: net release of provisions for loans of € 16 million (first-half 2017: € 20 million; second half of 2017: € 4 million) due to improved economic conditions and outlook
  • Capital position: the Common Equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 34.3% (year-end 2017: 34.1%), and the leverage ratio at 5.2% (year-end 2017: 5.5%)

Banking with a human touch

Good progress on initiatives to optimise shared value:

  • Customers: improvement in customer-weighted Net Promoter Score to 0 (year-end 2017: -3)
  • Society: 33% climate-neutral balance sheet (year-end 2017: 27%); introduction Financial Confidence Barometer and objective for financial resilience
  • Employees: decrease in employee Net Promoter Score to -14 (year-end 2017: -2); commitment and engagement stable at 7.7 and 7.4 respectively
  • Shareholder: return on equity of 8.5% against a target of 8% (first-half 2017: 10.5%)

Maurice Oostendorp, Chairman of the Board of Directors

“In the first half of 2018, our focus on the implementation of our banking with a human touch mission resulted in a considerable number of initiatives. We introduced a concrete objective for financial resilience and entered into dialogue with customers who may run into difficulties with their interest-only mortgage in the future. Our social profile is now also reflected in high ESG ratings.

The growth of our mortgage portfolio and the number of customers is satisfactory. Customer satisfaction at our brands continued to improve, for the first time resulting in a break-even average Net Promoter Score. Having said that, there is still enough work to be done to achieve our Shared Value ambition. In the first six months, the employee NPS deteriorated against a background of reorganisations at de Volksbank and in the financial services sector in general. The climate neutrality of our balance sheet showed strong improvement, but our target is still some way off.

Pressure on the interest margin and lower investment income resulted in lower interim profits, in keeping with our earlier indication for the whole of 2018. Compared to the second half of 2017, net profit showed a slight increase and at 8.5% the return on equity remained at a good level. De Volksbank continues to be one of the best capitalised banks in Europe and is well-positioned for the future.”

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