“As the leading Nordic corporate bank, we saw that business sentiment among Nordic and German large corporate customers turned more positive in 2014, evidenced by high event-driven activities. We confirmed our number one position in Nordic M&As and arranged the largest number of transactions”, says Annika Falkengren, SEB’s President and CEO, commenting on the fourth quarter results.
“All divisions increased income and showed continued growth in the customer base with good cost control. The result reflects our investments in a broader and deeper relationship with large corporates outside Sweden. Profit growth in the Nordic countries and Germany was firm.”
“With reference to the clarification of the regulatory capital framework during 2014, our refined capital target is expressed as a margin above the requirement by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. We already meet this requirement and through continued profit growth we will add to the margin during 2015. ”
Operating income in the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 12.8bn. The income included a one-time positive effect from a sale of Euroline AB at a gain of SEK 1.7bn. Excluding the effect, operating income would have been SEK 11.1bn, an increase of 1 per cent compared to the last quarter 2013. Operating expenses increased by 2 per cent to SEK 5.8bn. Operating profit in the quarter amounted to SEK 6.6bn (SEK 4.9bn excluding the one-time effect).
Asset quality remained high. The net credit loss level was 9 basis points during the quarter and in 2014, unchanged compared to 2013. The liquidity coverage ratio was 115 per cent. The Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio was further strengthened to 16.3 per cent.
The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of SEK 4.75 per share, corresponding to 54 per cent of the earnings per share for 2014.