Despite this, there was a €533 million increase in the investment portfolio, thanks in large part to two strategies: focussing commercial activities on acquiring working capital business and the strengthening of the bank's relationship with companies, in particular in their daily operations, which offers significant opportunities.
Another two milestones in 2018 were the net acquisition of 4,198 new customers, increasing Bankinter's penetration rate in the segment to 40%; and the improvement in perceived quality by 4.6 points, resulting in a higher level of loyalty and greater likelihood of recommending our services.
At year-end, total investment in mediumsized enterprises came to €6,191 million, of which €3,446 million corresponded to term investments and €2.711 to investments in working capital. Its gross operating income amounted to €154 million, with 41.7% coming from commissions.
The keys to the strong performance of this business are the reassignment of portfolios in recent years and the aim of medium-sized companies not being one-off customers of Bankinter when they need financing, rather global customers whose life the bank can make easier.
The challenges for 2019 include: enhancing the penetration rate further still, continuing to increase the participation of the working capital business and improving the management of customers with growing doses of proximity and service quality.
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