Argenta confirms its strong position in the Belgian banking and insurance landscape and on the Dutch mortgage market by again presenting healthy growth figures in the first half of 2019. At the same time, the financial sector is under increased pressure from macroeconomic and geopolitical events that have produced a further and faster fall in market interest rates. Despite these challenges, Argenta is maintaining a stable recurring interest margin. Barring a change in the general environment, however, downward pressure on the interest margin is set to increase. Argenta’s solvency and liquidity remain very strong.
Marc Lauwers, CEO: “Our commercial results confirm that the private customer remains attached to a bank-insurer that swims against the tide and practices unashamedly traditional banking. Customer proximity with a focus on personal advice and a simple, competitively priced offering. Sustained investments in response to regulatory requirements and digitization weigh on the cost-to-income ratio and on the results. The interest rate environment will continue for the foreseeable future to depress our results, which are still mainly interest-driven. We are bracing ourselves for this development. In such an environment, the support of a shareholder with a focus on long-term value creation is an important plus.”
Geert Ameloot, CFO: “The macroeconomic and geopolitical tensions, and in particular the negative evolution of market rates, are making life increasingly difficult for financial institutions. Nevertheless, Argenta continues its course with a long-term focus on the well-being of its customers and its shareholders. The financial results, excluding one-off and temporary effects, have continued to hold up well until now. Our stable net interest margin in particular is a good result in the current circumstances. With our excellent solvency and liquidity buffer, we remain focused on further growth.”
For the full press release, we refer to the file below: