Banks, Financial Services, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 24.08.2019, 15:20

Swedbank earned EUR 109 mln in profit in Latvia in 2018

BC, Riga, 30.01.2019.Print version
In 2018, profit of Swedbank Latvia decreased to EUR 109 mln compared to EUR 113 mln in 2017, mainly due to lower income, the bank informed LETA.

Net interest income rose 2%. The increase was mainly due to higher lending volumes. Lending grew 5% driven by strong growth in both corporate and household lending. Deposits increased 11%.

Net commission income decreased 11% impacted by lower asset management income. At the same time, higher customer activity strengthened payments and cards commission income. Other income increased 21% due to higher income from the insurance business, the bank informs.

Total expenses rose 4%. The increase is due to higher staff costs and regulatory expenses. Credit recoveries according to IFRS 9 amounted to EUR 2 mln.

''While for the financial sector 2018 has been a turbulent year, for Latvian society and economy it has been mostly positive. Latvia has begun its second centenary with the historically best economic situation, strong exports, rising savings and an average salary of over EUR 1,000. Economic activity has contributed to the willingness of households and businesses to invest – and that lead to 3,500 families getting a better home with Swedbank’s financing, while 2,600 companies have expanded their operations. As a result we have evidenced the strongest loan portfolio growth over the last 10 years. 2018 also marked a milestone in our society's ability to use mobile technology - now every second Swedbank client uses a mobile phone to find out its account balance or make payments while Smart-ID replaces code cards at a fast pace,” said Reinis Rubenis, Head of Swedbank Latvia.

After launching a new version of the mobile app in the third quarter, Swedbank joined the instant payment system between banks. The mobile app had more than 355,000 active users by the end of the year, while the number of Smart-ID users has doubled during 2018 and reached 389,000 users.

Swedbank also continued to expand its services available through the Internet Bank last year. And to encourage increased savings, Swedbank in Latvia launched an investment savings account that makes it easier for individual investors to manage taxes related to the securities they own.

Swedbank again ranked as an industry leader in the “Most Loved Brands” survey and is the most popular of the companies with a physical presence in Latvia. Swedbank has also been named one of the companies in Latvia with the smallest gender pay gaps.

As part of its Open Banking efforts, Swedbank also continues to facilitate partnerships with fintech community. In October 2018, the second fintech accelerator program was launched together with Startup Wise Guys. Compared with the first program, the number of applications has doubled, to around 200. Altogether, nine teams from nine countries have been selected for the three-month program, which gives participants an opportunity to develop their business ideas and co-create together with Swedbank mentors.

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