At the annual general meeting, Bankinter's chairman highlighted the strength and diversification of the Bank's business model as the keys to 2022's positive results
Pedro Guerrero stressed that the Bank is gaining market share thanks to its commercial actions in the businesses it considers relevant. He added that the Bank's capacity for innovation 'plays a crucial role in the process of adapting to changing times'.
Bankinter's chairman also pointed out during his speech that the 'financial events' of recent days 'are completely alien to the functioning of Spanish banks and of Bankinter', while highlighting the Bank's strength.
Bankinter's CEO, María Dolores Dancausa, highlighted that in 2022 the Bank has managed to achieve one year ahead of schedule the profit target set for 2023, obtaining a profit of 560 million euros, 28% more year-on-year.The CEO also emphasised Bankinter's strengths in terms of liquidity, solvency and profitability, and recalled that it is the most resilient bank in Spain and the third most resilient in the Eurozone, according to the EBA's latest stress tests
At the Bank's annual general meeting held today, Bankinter's chairman, Pedro Guerrero, stressed the importance of innovation as a distinguishing feature of the Bank and as a competitive advantage in the current changing environment. Pedro Guerrero pointed out that 'after a year of transition' such as 2022, 'between the end of the pandemic and a new expansionary cycle', the current environment is marked by 'high uncertainties derived mainly from the war in Ukraine and the upsurge in inflationary tensions'. He believes that 'over the coming months, and perhaps years, we will be facing a growing economy, but with inflation, high interest rates and surrounded by uncertainties', a situation to which 'we will all have to adapt'.
In this context, the Bank's capacity for innovation 'plays a crucial role in the process of adapting to the changing and uncertain times we are living in', said the chairman.
Recent examples of this 'commitment to innovation', a hallmark of Bankinter throughout its history, include, as Guerrero pointed out, the launch by Bankinter Investment (the Bank's Investment Banking subsidiary) of the alternative investment fund and its corresponding management company; the new wealth management service 'Excellence Management', which takes personalised management to another level; the application of
big data technologies to the internal processes of Bankinter Consumer Finance; the SupplyChain Finance financial solution for companies in order to provide comprehensive management of their working capital; and the alliance with Línea Directa Aseguradora and Vass to launch the Car 'N Roll vehicle purchase and sale platform on which the Bank offers financing to purchasers.
'Banks are helping solve problems.'
Regarding the sector's role in the current situation, Bankinter's chairman stressed that 'as was the case during the pandemic, banking is once again helping to solve a problem that could seriously jeopardise the finances of our most vulnerable customers' in the face of rising interest rates. He explained that 'to prevent this and alleviate the negative impact' of the situation on exposed segments of the population, 'the sector decided to support the government's proposal to aid middle and low income families especially punished by the rise in Euribor by granting them grace terms, extending the repayment periods and not considering their debts as non-performing or risky loans, which could be very burdensome for them'.
On the other hand, the banking sector continues to make progress in its recovery from the effect of the pandemic, increasing its profitability and improving its efficiency, variables in which Bankinter has a leading position in the sector.
Pedro Guerrero also highlighted the 'strength of our commercial actions, as we have grown and gained market share in all the segments in which we operate and which we consider relevant'. He also stressed the solidity of the Bank's model and strategy, which are 'diversified and focused on those businesses which have future potential and were we contribute value'.
1,000 more employees in a decade.
Guerrero also highlighted the Bank's 'commitment to providing quality employment', as a result of which Bankinter has gathered 'a team of 6,419 people by the end of 2022, across all the subsidiaries and geographical areas in which the Bank operates, 281 more than the previous year'. He also pointed out that Bankinter Spain's workforce has been growing year by year, and now numbers 1,000 more employees 'than we had ten years ago'. He stressed the importance of the fact that among the new recruits made last year, there is a high number of under 30s, totalling 255.
Regarding the bank tax, Pedro Guerrero insisted that it is 'discriminatory, unjustified and unfair, and for this reason, although we have obviously complied with it, we have also appealed it'.
Referencing the 'financial events of recent days', Bankinter's chairman said they are 'completely alien to the functioning of Spanish banks and particularly of Bankinter', while highlighting the Bank's strength.
He noted, among other parameters, the Bank's loan-to-deposit ratio, which at the end of 2022 stood at 102.8%, and the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR), which stood at 193.5%, when the minimum required by regulations is 100%, adding to the fact that Bankinter has no wholesale issue maturities for the year.
Indicators of strength for the future
In her speech, María Dolores Dancausa, CEO of Bankinter, reviewed the main results obtained by the Bank in 2022, a year in which it earned a profit of 560 million euros, an increase of 28%. 'These have been very satisfactory results, representing a record in our history and seeing Bankinter achieve, a year ahead of schedule, the targets we had set for 2023, surpassing the profits prior to the pandemic and also prior to the spin-off of Línea Directa'.
The 2022 profit, in the words of the CEO, 'was achieved thanks to the balanced contribution of the different businesses in which we operate; to the contribution of the different countries in which we are present; to the recurrent and regular activity of each and every one of them; and of course, thanks to the persevering and exceptional work carried out by the people who make up our workforce'.
The contributions of Corporate Banking, which accounts for a third of the Bank's revenues, and of Commercial Retail Banking, with a similar weight (including Private Banking), as well as the performance of Bankinter Consumer Finance, the consumer credit subsidiary, were particularly noteworthy. These mature businesses are joined by 'new businesses', such as Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg, EVO Banco and Bankinter Investment, from which 'a quarter' of the more than 2 billion euro in gross income comes from.
At another point in her speech, María Dolores Dancausa pointed out that 'customer funds grew by 2.135 billion euro in 2022 and at the end of the year accounted for 103% of the Group's lending, which places Bankinter in a comfortable liquidity position'.
The chief executive officer emphasised the 'strengths' of the bank that will help it face 'future years'. Among them, an NPL ratio of 2.1%, 'the lowest figure for this ratio in recent years and the best among listed banks'. But also the remarkable results for the cost-to-income ratio; 44% for the Group and 40.5% for Spain.
With regard to expenditure, which is essential to the cost-to-income ratio, María Dolores Dancausa pointed out that Bankinter's trend is not the sector's, since the Bank has not closed branches, and she praised its omnichannel model, highlighting 'the balance we achieve by providing online, telephone and branch services as required by different customers at different times'. She also pointed out that Bankinter is following a different trend to the sector in terms of staff growth, which increased by 4.6% to 6,419 employees for the Group.
As for the factors that will enable Bankinter to continue making progress in future years, Bankinter's CEO highlighted five: the people who make up Bankinter's teams; the perseverance of the Bank's business model; the diversification of its sources of income; its firm commitment to sustainability; and the traditional role played by the application of technology to our processes and the efficiency obtained as a result.
A particular strength of the Bank's business model is the fact that we have 'a defined and consolidated strategy, perfectly identifiable by customers, analysts and investors, without ups and downs or changes in our identity, our shareholding or our risk management'.
On inflation and financial turmoil
María Dolores Dancausa also took a moment to assess both the situation generated by high inflation and the financial turbulence of the past few days. On inflation, she recalled the 'tremendous impact it has on economic activity, and how difficult and slow it is to correct, which requires the commitment and temporary sacrifice of all of us who are part of this activity'.
Against this backdrop, she said the 'European Central Bank is to be commended for the firm action it took a week ago today, choosing to continue with the policy it believes is the right way to tackle inflation, ignoring voices suggesting that such policies aimed at stabilising prices simultaneously destabilise financial institutions'.
Regarding the recent financial turbulence, which has affected the share prices of Spanish banks 'as a matter of mere reflex or distrust of the markets towards our sector', she stressed that banks have spent 'eleven long years, since 2012, with the so-called "Guindos decrees", strengthening our balance sheets, our solvency, our liquidity, our capital levels, our information systems, and our elements of control and balance'. In addition, 'we are under constant scrutiny by our regulators, who are fully aware of the risks and external forces to which each institution is subject'.
She stated that Bankinter in particular 'has a solid capacity to withstand the greatest macroeconomic adversities that may arise, as has been demonstrated in all the stress tests which we have been subjected to by the regulatory authorities and which we have always passed with flying colours. We have in fact been recognised as the most resilient bank in the Spanish financial system and the third most resilient in Europe' she recalled. She also stressed that Bankinter enjoys 'comfortable solvency and, above all, liquidity levels".
In view of the solidity of the financial sector in general and of Bankinter in particular, she called for 'facing these periods of turbulence with the utmost serenity, confidence and aplomb, in the certainty that they will soon pass'.
Lastly, she wondered if the new tax 'has not deprived our entities of suitable resources to deal with the current situation'.
Re-election of María Dolores Dancausa Treviño as chief executive officer
Lastly, Bankinter's annual general meeting approved all the resolutions included in its agenda. Among them, the re-election of María Dolores Dancausa as executive director; she will subsequently be ratified by the board of directors as CEO. María Teresa Pulido, María Luisa Jordá and Álvaro Álvarez-Alonso were re-elected as external independent directors. Bankinter's administrative body counts with a 45.5% of female directors.
Bankinter continues to distribute a pay-out of 50%, a policy endorsed by the annual general meeting, which approved the payment of 280.1 million euros as dividends. Of this amount, 199.8 million has already been paid out -- on 29 June 2022, 21 September and 21 December -- out of the profit for 2022. On 30 March, a final dividend of 80.3 million euro (0.089 euro gross per share) will be paid. This leaves a total gross dividend for 2022 of 0.3116 euro per share.