Comments from the Managing Director
“In March, our major annual event, the Avanza Forum, was held for the eighth consecutive year. Approximately 3,500 attendees made their way to the Globe arena in Stockholm, while a further 15,000 have viewed a recording of the event over the internet. This was an unprecedented number of attendees, which we are extremely proud of. The interest in the event reflects the increased awareness and search for knowledge among the general public regarding their savings and the macrofactors affecting them. We also see this in our customer statistics, in the form of increases of trading activity and the inflow of new customers.
Net inflow – the third strongest quarter in Avanza’s history
Historically speaking, the first quarter tends to begin positively, and this year is no different. However, we believe that the increased level of interest is also a consequence of more positive signs from each of the EU, the USA and Asia. It would even be fair to say that savers are likely to have grown tired of the sensationalist headlines we have seen over recent years, and are no longer tricked by political manoeuvring, looking instead at the economic data and making their own minds up. The Stockholm Stock Exchange has experienced a positive development, and a number of listed companies will experience a direct yield during the spring which is significantly more than the short interest rate. This turn of events has implied that customers have been considerably more active with their savings than during the three previous quarters. This manifests itself in fund saving, which is up 77 per cent compared with the same quarter during 2012, as well as in the historically strong net inflow of SEK 3.3 billion. This is an increase of 72 per cent compared with the corresponding period during the previous year, and represents a positive signal in terms of our long-term target of achieving a 5 per cent share of the total net inflow to the Swedish savings market.
We are becoming ever more popular – the inflow of new customers is increasing
The inflow of 8,900 new customers during the first quarter represents an increase of 26 per cent compared with the same period during 2012, and is well in line with our long-term target of gaining 20,000 – 30,000 customers per year. This is an effect of savers’ increased activity, in combination with the fact that we have the highest rating in the market for customer satisfaction.
Low interest rates continue to put pressure on income
Trading activity has increased since the previous quarter, but the low interest rates continue to impact net interest income, with a reduction of 19 per cent to MSEK 50 (62) compared with the same period during the previous year. To combat this, we will continue to refine our offering and focus on the areas we are able to impact, such as continued growth of customer volume and savings capital, we will continue the development of our occupational pension offering and to prepare the bank for the introduction of unrestricted transfer rights, as well as further strengthening our long-term, low price leadership.
Upgrading of the IT platform on schedule and according to plan
The important strategic work with modernising our underlying IT system is continuing as planned, which has kept the majority of the Company’s IT resources tied up during the first quarter. We will continue to prioritise the completion of this project during the year, for which an important milestone will be the launch of our new internet banking site after the end of the second quarter. A flexible, cost-effective IT platform is crucial to our continued success and our ability to continue to create competitive offerings with our customers in focus – as it should be.”
For additional information:
|Martin Tivéus, Managing Director of Avanza Bank,
tel: +46(0)70 861 80 04
|Birgitta Hagenfeldt, CFO of Avanza Bank,
tel: +46(0)73 661 80 04
This report has not been subject to review by the company’s auditors.
The information contained in this report comprises information that Avanza Bank Holding AB (publ.) is obliged to provide as well as that which it has chosen to provide in accordance with the provisions of the Swedish Securities Market Act and the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information has been released to the market for publication at 08.15 (CET) on 17 April 2013.
Stockholm, 17 April 2013
Martin Tivéus, Managing Director Avanza Bank