SEB's first nine months 2007 - operating profit SEK 12.4bn (11.4)
SEB's third quarter - operating profit SEK 3.7bn (3.9)
"Our diversified business mix and high customer activity have supported profitability also during these turbulent times. The lower revenues in the fixed income securities portfolios must be seen in the light of SEB's leading Nordic wholesale banking position. SEB has maintained a sound liquidity profile and a strong capital base."
The difficult conditions in the credit markets during the third quarter have been a challenge for the banking industry. After a long period of abundant liquidity, the risk reward correction was not unexpected, but the sharpness and the extent of the correction came as a surprise.
Throughout the period SEB maintained a sound liquidity profile, a strong capital base and the confidence of the capital markets. The main effect on SEB was the widened credit spreads, causing deterioration in values of bond portfolios, and lower customer activity in the fixed income area. SEB's stress testing shows that credit defaults in the portfolios causing material losses are unlikely given the current credit market circumstances. The controlled slowdown of credit growth in the Baltic countries continued.
Despite these turbulent times, SEB's diversified business mix and customer-centric organisation have proven resilient. The increase of operating profit for the year is driven by a combination of solid income generation and stable costs. The plan to deliver SEK 1.5-2.0bn in cost-efficiency gains over a three-year period is on track.
The work to strengthen customer relations further through increased pro-activity and more co-ordinated product offerings continues. High quality must be recognised in everything we deliver to our customers. The number one position in attracting new Swedish mutual fund flows and the leading Nordic custodian position are evidence of these efforts yielding result. During the quarter, SEB continued to receive acknowledgments for the quality of its wholesale business and high customer rankings in the Baltic operations.
SEB's long-term strategy, the Road to Excellence, remains intact. SEB aims to be recognised as the best bank in Northern Europe in terms of customer satisfaction and financial performance.
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