From July to September the overall business sentiment improved, and customer activity increased – the number of new customers onboarded reached almost 5 thousand new clients, 55 % increase in comparison with the previous quarter. Active customers reached 322 thousand clients as of 30 September 2020, or 8 % growth year over year. Customers appreciates both the wide range of remote financial services and the variety of contactless payments.
“Since March the bank’s key focus is on the safety and well-being of its customers and employees. Taking into account all the required measures to limit the spread of the virus, since September 30 we are serving our clients by appointment only. The bank’s employees are provided with Covid-19 health insurance and most of them are working remotely,”
– said Johan Akerblom, Citadele CEO.
Although the moratorium regarding united bank approach to granting grace periods on loan repayments ended in September, Citadele encourages its clients to contact the bank promptly if they face unexpected financial challenges. Each case will be evaluated individually to find the best solution and help clients in short-term financial difficulties.
The number of requests for grace periods on loan repayments has remained comparatively low – 2.5 thousand applications end of September, of which 98 % were submitted during first half of 2020.
EUR 327 million issued in new loans to Baltic private, SME and corporate customers
New lending to Baltic private, SME and corporate customers reached EUR 327 million in 9 months 2020, of which EUR 141 million were issued in July – September 2020, twice as much as in previous quarter. The total loan book was EUR 1,537 million, which is a slight decrease vs year end 2019.
Customer deposits reached EUR 3,542 million as of 30 September 2020, an increase of 8 % compared to the end of 2019, indicating the financial strength of Citadele customer base.
Customers appreciates remote financial services and embrace innovations
Mobile App users and Internet bank customers increased by 18 % and 4 % year over year, respectively, reaching 139 thousand active Mobile App users and 192 thousand active Internet bank customers.
Responding to increasing demand of contactless payments, in July the bank introduced payment rings as additional contactless payment method. X smart cards were introduced for students and junior, and X cards insurance coverage was upgraded by adding Covid-19 insurance while traveling and additional coverage, e.g. local and bicycle insurance, home help kit was prolonged by the end of this year.
Citadele credit rating upgraded to investment grade
On 29 September 2020, Moody’s has upgraded Citadele’s credit rating to Baa3 with stable outlook. The upgrade is mainly based on the improvement in the financial fundamentals of the bank, the effects of the planned the SIA UniCredit Leasing acquisition on the bank’s standalone credit profile, and higher capitalization and declining of problem loans. The UniCredit Leasing acquisition is expected to be closed as of end of 2020, as all regulatory approvals have been received and it is anticipated that Citadele will own SIA UniCredit Leasing in the Baltics from January 2021. This will give additional positive financial impact in 2021 and will bring further value to the bank’s current and future clients and business partners.
Strong liquidity and capital ratios
As of today, Citadele continues to operate with capital and liquidity ratios well above regulatory requirements: CAR of 22.2 % and LCR of 390 % as of 30 September 2020.
While the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have had a negative impact on 9 months 2020 financial result, the Q3 results displays the strength of the underlying business with a net profit of EUR 8.5 million.
About Citadele Bank
Citadele’s mission is to modernise the banking sector and offer more opportunities to clients and businesses throughout the Baltics.
Alongside classic banking services, Citadele offers its clients a range of services based on next-generation financial technology, including its modern app, contactless payments and instant payments, and finally, being the first in the Baltics to introduce opening an account with a selfie, payment rings and payments to mobile numbers.
Citadele is the second largest bank in Latvia by assets. The Citadele group is managed from Latvia. Its subsidiaries and branches operate in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.