Danske Bank may have its problems, but Scandinavia’s largest bank Nordea is basking in profit, presenting its best ever earnings.
2012 pre-tax profit for Nordea was at DKK30.55 billion (EUR4.1billion), notching ahead of its hitherto record in 2007 of DKK30.2 billion (EUR4.04 billion).
Customer influx, capital and profitability were also at record levels.
““In 2012, we had more customers, more capital and higher profit than ever before. We are ahead of the plan that was established in 2011. On that foundation, we will shape the future of Nordea, with closer customer relationships, unchanged costs and increased return on equity,” says CEO Christian Clausen.
The accounts show that despite a lending growth of 3 per cent, risk-weighted assets were reduced by 9 percent.
Swedish taxes have also had their part to play in the positive result. An overall drop from 26.3 per cent to 22 per cent has left an extra DKK544 million in Nordea’s coffers.
Net interest income increased by 5 per cent while net loan losses fell by 27 per cent.
The bank says that global economic growth outlook remains weak, but says that Nordic economies have done better than economies in the rest of Europe.
“The Nordic economies overall continued to perform relatively well compared to the rest of Europe, benefitting from overall sound public finances,” the report says.
On Danish operations, Nordea said it ‘maintained solid business momentum in the fourth quarter’.
“The number of externally acquired Gold and Premium customers was more than 6,800 during the quarter and more than 28,000 for the full year 2012,” the report said, adding that the Danish netbank welcomed its customer number 1 million in December 2012.
But it said that continued uncertainty and low consumer confidence in Denmark have resulted in moderate consumer spending and a continuous focus on debt reduction.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood