Today, the Executive Committee of Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep nv presented the group’s annual results.
In 2017, Argenta strengthened its foundations so as to be able to serve its customers even better, and increasingly in digitally mode. Despite the low interest rate environment, rising costs and investments, Argenta does not pass these costs on to its customers, but opts resolutely for long-term growth.
In 2017, Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep achieved, despite the interest rate climate, a satisfactory result of EUR 193 million at group level, supported by the strong performance of the insurer.
At Argenta Spaarbank, persistently low interest rates depressed the interest margin. This pressure was partly offset by the strong growth in fee products such as investment funds. Costs also increased with heavy investments in IT platforms and digitization, while bank taxes also rose further.
The net result of Argenta Spaarbank was EUR 139 million. Its liquidity and capital ratios remain excellent and among the strongest in Europe.
Argenta Assuranties achieved a net result of EUR 72.6 million. Underlying this excellent result were favourable claims levels, increased production in branch 23, and the merger with the Dutch subsidiary Argenta-Life Nederland. Without the merger, the net result would still have been EUR 58.5 million.
Marc Lauwers, CEO: “Customer trust in Argenta remains strong. Incoming funds continued to grow thanks to strong growth in our investment products. Home loan production in Belgium declined with the strong fall in refinancing. Even so, our residential mortgage portfolio grew more strongly than the market, notwithstanding the highly competitive mortgage lending environment and despite our strict acceptance policy in order to maintain the high quality of our loan portfolio. Major investments in the IT platforms form the basis for further digitization of our services. The launch of the new App and the periodic updates illustrate this.”
Geert Ameloot, CFO: “As expected, the impact of the persistently low interest rate environment is clearly visible in the 2017 figures. The EUR 139 million net result of the bank is the result of a decrease in the net interest result combined with higher costs, partly offset by increased income from fee products and a reversal of provisions for loans. The high CET1 ratio and liquidity ratio meanwhile confirm our excellent solvency and liquidity position.”
For the full press release, we refer to the pdf below.