Poles save in and choose BRE Bank (480 thousand new clients and PLN 5.1 billion raised in deposits). Record-breaking income. Cost/Income ratio the best in five years. BREnova: 2009 goals accomplished.
In Q4 and throughout 2009, the BRE Bank Group generated record income. The Bank has been improving on the Cost/Income ratio gradually. The success reflects strong result in respect of interest as well as fees and commissions, said Mariusz Grendowicz, president of BRE Bank. In Q4 2009, the interest result exceeded PLN 417 million, which represents an 8% rise compared with the previous quarter, while throughout 2009 it reached a record PLN 1.7 billion against PLN 1.4 billion a year before (up by 19%). The Bank's interest margin remained unchanged in 2009.
Despite a slight quarterly fall, BRE's commission result rose by 7.8% compared with 2008. The most dynamic growth in revenues was reported in the area of payment cards, brokerage and lending activity, and account maintenance.
2009 C/I ratio the best in five years, provisions falling gradually
Thanks to our responsible approach, we managed to cut spending considerably. It is reflected in a 4.5% reduction in overhead costs compared with 2008, said Grendowicz. This, in turn, impacted the Cost/Income ratio on recurring activity which accounted for 54.2% in the end of 2009, i.e. less than in 2008 when the figure was 57,7% including one-off transactions or 60.8% excluding one-offs. It means that the ratio is at its lowest in five years, summarised BRE Bank's CEO.
The fall in these ratios is attributed to the successful cost saving activities: at the beginning of 2009 it was assumed that the Bank will save PLN 280 million compared with the expenditures planned previously. Owing to cuts in the HR, logistics and IT areas, we even managed to exceed the plan: the Bank saved PLN 296 million.
Moreover, in Q4 2009, BRE Bank received more than PLN 96 million in dividend on the shares in PZU. We used these funds to lower the cost base for the future, thus laying the foundations for profitable growth in 2010, explained Mariusz Grendowicz. The money was spent, in particular, on accelerated amortization of selected IT systems, restructuring of the branch network in Slovakia and other provisions.
Loan loss provisions - a responsible approach paid off
The Group results were significantly affected by the balance of provisions for loans at PLN 1,097 million, against PLN 269 million year on year. The value of provisions set up for derivative instruments is an effect of conservative approach adopted at the Bank in terms of restructuring activities. It should be noted that Q4 demonstrated much lower loan loss provisions than the previous quarters of 2009.
Clients have confidence in us; increase in the deposit base
BRE Bank is an institution which acquires the greatest number of clients on the market. Only in 2009, the number of retail clients grew from 2.78 million to 3.26 million. The trust our clients have in us is demonstrated best by the fact that mBank is the financial institution most frequently recommended in Poland, said Mariusz Grendowicz.
Simultaneously, 2009 was the period of developing the deposit base for the time of a "credit thaw". The value of savings deposited by the clients of BRE Bank increased by 13.3%. Owing to the above, we are prepared for the market improvement, said the CEO of BRE Bank.
When summarising the 2009 results and the BREnova strategic programme, we should pay attention to the following: savings higher by PLN 16 million than planned, a significant increase in the number of clients, higher margins on products and a drop in Cost/Income and Loans/Deposits ratios, stated Mariusz Grendowicz, President of the Management Board of BRE Bank. These results clearly demonstrate that BRE Bank kept the promise made last year, he added.