Avanza is Sweden's largest online broker. The company is a product of active business development and structural change. The company known today as Avanza is the result of a number of mergers between the companies Avanza, Aktiespar Fondkommission, HQ.SE Fondkommission and Inside.
In 2016, we continued to focus on digital decision-making support and a cheaper, better and simpler offer to our customers. For example, we launched Avanza Play: a decision-making support in video format, a new stock list and a savings calculator where customers can find out how their savings grow over time. During the year, we were the first bank in Sweden to allow customers to make real time deposits from other banks, even after hours and on weekends. We were also the first company in Sweden to introduce free stock trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange for new and existing customers with savings capital of less than SEK 50,000. In Private Banking, a new price list was launched with the market’s lowest brokerage fees, and we strengthened our mortgage offer by cutting the rate to 0.79 per cent. In November, Johan Prom took over as CEO for Avanza, and in December we received the annual award for Sweden’s most satisfied savings customers for the seventh year in a row!
Growth remained strong with 103,000 new customers and a net inflow of 26.5 billion.
2015 were more intense than ever, in terms of business development. We introduced the Portfolio Generator, the first-generation digital decision-making support tool directed towards fund savings, and launched Avanza Markets, offering brokerage-free trading in certificates and Mini Futures. As an important keystone in our aim to ensure a strong and consistent growth in our occupational pension business, we opened a new sales office in Malmö. Avanza was the largest Swedish bank on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in terms of number of transactions, and during the second half of the year also in terms of turnover. In December Avanza issued a subordinated bond of SEK 100m in order to strengthen the capital base. Martin Tivéus, CEO since 2011, announced that he will resign from his position.
Growth exceeded our expectations. Despite a strong customer inflow of 96,000 new customers and over SEK 25 billion in net inflow we were honored to receive the Swedish Quality Index’s award for "Sweden's Most Satisfied Customers" in the savings category, for the sixth consecutive year.
2014 was in many respects a record-breaking year. At the beginning of the year we established a new office in Gothenburg, focusing on occupational pensions and Private Banking. We lowered the brokerage fee on US stock trading during Q1 and followed this up in October by introducing a sompletely new price list whereby we lowered the minimum brokerage fee for trading on the Swedish stock exchange to SEK 1. This resulted in us receiving Privata Affärer's Price Cruncher of the Year Award. We have seen increased activity among our existing clients but also welcomed more new clients than ever before. More than 50,000 new clients joined us in 2014. We ended the year by receiving the award for having the most satisfied savers in Sweden for the fifth year running, according to the Swedish Quality Index annual survey.
Our trading activity increased considerably during Q1 and was up 25% compared to the previous quarter. In June we launched our new customer-facing website. The new website enabled us, among other things, to offer streaming real-time prices as standard; the first bank in Sweden to do so. August saw us reaching two important milestones: 300,000 clients and SEK 100 billion in savings . In the last quarter we also extended our Sparkonto+ with another partner, Resurs Bank. Superbolånet, Sweden's best value mortgage, was launched in November. December saw Avanza receiving the award for Best Annual Innovation in respect of Superbolånet, At the same time we were once again, for the fourth year running, presented with the award for Sweden's most satisfied customers from the Swedish Quality Index.
On 1 January 2012 we launched a new savings product, called the investment savings account (investeringssparkonto – ISK). Later in the year we became the first company in Sweden to offer trading in options and futures, as part of this product. We also became the first Swedish company to offer commission-free trading in räntebevis (a savings product index-linked to interest rates). The Life Insurance Inquiry Commission presented its proposal for an extension of the statutory transfer right in respect of pension policies, which was thought to have a positive impact on our long-term growth potential. We launched the Pension Challenge to help our clients to improve their retirement savings. We proved that 30-year-olds could increase their pension by 50% with us, compared to other pension providers. The Swedish Quality Index once again showed that Avanza Bank clients are the most satisified savers in Sweden - for the third year running.
The global stock markets were shaken by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan at the beginning of the year. The stock market remained troubled and declined by 20 percent due to factors such as the economic stress in Europe. We also introduced our new Android application and extended our savings product Sparkonto+ with two additional providers: GE Money Bank and Collector. We also offered our customers the possibility to save money at a fixed interest rate over a specified term, via our product Klarna. Q3 saw our product Sparkonto+ double its savings income, at the same time as we moved to our new premises in Stockholm on Regeringsgatan 103. Our brokerage fee income for Q3 was the best for any quarter in our history. This was the year when Martin Tiveus became our new CEO. Swedish Quality Index also awarded Avanza for the second year running for having the most satisfied savers in Sweden among our customers!
The upswing for the global stock markets continued in 2010, with a number of all time highs being achieved. Something that also applied to the Avanza Bank shares. Having noticed a renewed interest among savers to invest in securities, we launched two brand new savings products: Sparkonto+ and Barnspar. Towards the end of the year we also launched Labs, which is aimed to work as a type of ideas forum where we can develop new functionalities and have discussions with our customers. Avanza was for the first time awarded for having Sweden's most satisfied customers within savings according to Swedish Quality Index.
The beginning of the year was characterised by a continued turbulent world economy, however the year ended with substantial gains both on the Swedish stock market and internationally. At year-end the profit per Avanza share had grown by 22% to SEK 8.27 per share. Moreover, by the turn of the year 2009/2010 the total savings deposits by Avanza clients had increased to SEK 61,300 million, which represented an increase of 77% compared to the same time the previous year. Among our new product launches, the one that stood out was "Superlånet", a product giving clients the ability to borrow money at a preferential interest rate, using the clients' securities as collateral.
2008 went down in history as one of the worst years for the stock market since the 1930s. Problems originated in the US, but quickly spread to the rest of the world. As a result of the general stock market crash, the total value of accounts with Avanza decreased to SEK 34,600 million. In spite of banking being one of the hardest hit industries (coupled with the Swedish stock exchange decline of 42%), Avanza Bank managed to buck the trend and increase its net savings to SEK 6,760 million (+15%), and the number of accounts rose to 226,000 (+37%).
Another turbulent year ended with severe stock market crashes around the world. One of the stock markets that was hit the hardest was the Stockholm Stock Exchange. In spite of this, the number of Avanza clients increased and reached a record total of 165,000 at year-end. The combined value amounted to SEK 45,900 million and operating income increased by 22%, to SEK 557 million. We also received a lot of attention externally, following the results of the business magazine Privata Affärer's survey which showed that Avanza had the highest number of satisfied customers among all Swedish banks. Later in the year, Avanza was nominated the "Educator of the Year" and at the turn of the year 2007/2008 we finally changed our name from Avanza to Avanza Bank.
A turbulent year on the world stock markets ended with a number of record increases and Avanza saw the number of share transactions increase by a massive 42% compared to the previous year. Furthermore, our operating income rose by 59.5% to SEK 454.70 million and the combined value grew by 45%, to SEK 43,200 million. Avanza received a lot of attention externally in connection with the launch of Avanza Zero - the fund without fees. Avanza's customers were also uniquely able to manage their PPM holdings directly via Avanza, and the Avanza product portfolio was thereby extended by the addition of occupational pension savings and a brand new savings forum, namely the internet magazine Placera Nu.
Yet another year of strong growth, with operating income increasing by 35.4% to SEK 285.1 million. The combined value increased by 84% to SEK 29,800 million. Several successful pension products were launched within Avanza Pension and Avanza was authorised to conduct banking operations in December.
A year of strong growth, with operating income increasing by 40.4% to SEK 210.5 million. The combined value increased by 47% compared to the previous year and amounted to SEK 16,200 million. Avanza expanded its business through the addition of Avanza Private Banking, a service targeted at high net worth individuals. The aquisition of Banco Fondförsäkring enabled product launches within occupational pensions and insurance.
Avanza increased its market share on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and Avanza became the largest of all the Internet brokers during Q4, both in terms of turnover and number of transactions. Operating income increased by 22.3% to SEK 149.9 million. Avanza's product range was extended during the year with the addition of equity-linked bonds and funds focused on hedge markets and emerging markets. In November Avanza launched the first Internet-based pensions savings product in Sweden (IPS) with investments in both shares and funds. The number of clients at year-end amounted to 82,400, with a total value of SEK 11,000 million.
Despite a weak market, Avanza still managed to attract new share investors. The number of clients increased by 5%, whilst operating income increased by 31%. Net savings at year-end amounted to SEK 1,300 million. Avanza's determined development efforts were rewarded when we received the award for Annual Internet Broker, together with several other Internet awards, such as the best E-commerce site in Sweden.
HQ.SE Fonder was listed on the New Market and HQ.SE Holding changed names to HQ.SE Aktiespar, thereby creating a pure Internet broker. During the summer HQ.SE Aktiespar acquired Internet broker Avanza, a company which after its foundation in 1997 had received a number of awards for being both user-friendly and creative. Through the acquisition of Avanza, Sweden's largest Internet broker was created, with almost 72,000 active private customers and a market share of approximately 50% among pure internet brokers. HQ.SE Aktiespar changed names to Avanza in connection with the acquisition. Our new integrated web page, www.avanza.se, was launched on 1 October 2001.
HQ.SE Fondkommission and HQ.SE Fonder were listed under the name HQ.SE Holding. HQ.SE Holding acquired its competitor Aktiespar Fondkommission in the autumn of 2000 to create HQ.SE Aktiespar, Sweden's largest Internet broker. The acquisition also led to a close collaboration with Aktiespararna (Shareholders' Association).
The company that forms the heart of Avanza today, HQ.SE, was created within the Hagströmer & Qviberg Group of companies. HQ.SE business was conducted via two business areas: Internet broker HQ.SE Fondkommision and fund manager HQ.SE Fonder.