One of Sweden’s four largest retail lenders,
Swedbank, has posted a strong 58% increase in full year profit to
SEK11.7bn at the end of 31 December 2011, compared to SEK7.4bn in
the same period a year ago.
Net interest income increased by
17%year-on-year to SEK19.1bn, while credit impairments fell sharply
by over 30% year-on-year to SEK1.9bn.
Swedbank’s retail banking division performed
strongly; net profit soared by 31% to SEK7bn from SEK5.3bn.
The retail unit was boosted by net interest
income increasing by 22% compared with the previous year to
SEK12.3bn, as a result of higher interest rates and the re-pricing
Notably, Swedbank’s retail banking cost-income
ratio fell by 6 percentage points year-on-year.
During the year 23 branches were merged into
larger units and one new branch was opened as part of the ongoing
review of the retail network.
Swedbank has 9.5m retail customers with 317
branches in Sweden and over 200 branches in the Baltic countries.
During the year a net of 23 branches were merged into larger units
and one new branch was opened as part of the ongoing review of the
President and CEO of Swedbank, Michael Wolf,
said 2011 was an “eventful year” and attributed the profits to “the
result of recoveries and a stronger net interest income” at the
same time as costs remaining stable.
“To remain competitive and profitable in the
long term, we must diversify our offering and provide competitive
services for each customer segment,” said Wolf.