2016 was another successful year for Argenta Bank en Verzekeringsgroep (hereafter “Argenta”). In 2016, Argenta celebrated its 60th birthday, continuing, with ever-increasing vigour as it has for the past 60 years, its mission of assisting families and individuals to live financially healthy lives.
In so doing, Argenta remains true to its strong cultural values of openness to the future, simplicity, approachability, pragmatism and independence. Argenta’s strategy remains focused on building long-term relationships with its customers. Central to this are customer satisfaction, physical proximity, personal advice, and providing quality banking and insurance products and services for individuals and families in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Marc Lauwers, CEO: “With an eye for the core values that have characterized Argenta for 60 years already, we are working on innovative and flexible solutions to continue to offer our customers, in this digital age, the best possible service at a fair price. Argenta still has major steps to take here. It is investing heavily in a new high-performance IT platform, to be fully operational in 2018.”
With strong earnings of EUR 246 million, Argenta in 2016 consolidated its strategic position in Belgium and the Netherlands, gaining market share in mortgages, savings and funds.
With its high capital ratios and a consistent and conservative risk policy in both banking and insurance, Argenta remains one of Europe’s safest financial institutions. The stress test of the European Central Bank shows that Argenta’s capital ratios are very strong, even under stress, thanks to the robustness of its recurring business and the health of the credit portfolios.
In 2016, the number of customers in Belgium and the Netherlands rose to 1.7 million, and the funds managed for them by 6% to EUR 42.5 billion. Both Belgium and the Netherlands Argenta achieved record mortgage production. In Belgium this amounted to EUR 3.6 billion, including EUR 0.9 billion of refinancing of existing Argenta mortgages. Mortgage production in the Netherlands amounted to EUR 2.4 billion.
Jan Cerfontaine, Chairman of the Board: “Argenta has grown since 1956 from a bank with a starting capital of just 25,000 euros to Belgium’s fifth largest bank and tenth largest insurer. Today we can proudly present rock-solid earnings. The new executive committee led by CEO Marc Lauwers will lay the foundation for a necessary transformation process to provide a lasting response to the challenges of the next 60 years in terms of interest rate environment, regulation and digitization.”
Argenta continues to build its future. This also applies very literally. In 2016, plans were made for a major renovation of the Antwerp headquarters buildings. The entire project will take approximately four years.