Preliminary Financial Statement 2012
Comments from the Managing Director
“We leave an eventful 2012 behind us. During the year we have, overall, grown by more than 20,000 new customers and 54,000 new accounts. Savings capital has increased by SEK 12 billion during the year, from SEK 74 billion to SEK 86 billion, an increase of 16 percent. The basis of the growth has been our focus on customer benefits and customer satisfaction, which is evidenced by the survey undertaken by Swedish Quality Index (Svenskt Kvalitetsindex (SKI)) where Avanza Bank has Sweden’s most satisfied savers, for the third year in a row.
At the same time, the last twelve months have been characterised by rapid changes on the market in which Avanza Bank operates. Despite strong growth in savings capital and customers, combined with strong cost control, we could not compensate for sharply reduced trading activity and prime lending rates. As a result, operating income decreased by 19 percent and operating profit by 41 percent.
With a Stock Exchange return of 16 percent during an unstable trading year, we have seen savings behaviour move away from investment in stocks to investment in interest savings. During 2012, investment in stocks in Sweden was at its lowest level for ten years. Even though we have maintained our market shares of the trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, total trading volumes on the exchange have declined by 24 percent since 2011.
We could towards the end of the year see an increase of both trading activity and net inflow, as well as a shift back from fixed income funds to equity funds. Net inflow in December was SEK 650 million, the strongest month since February. The trends have continued in early 2013 with a net inflow during the two first weeks of January of SEK 640 million, compared with SEK 280 million during the same period of the previous year. One swallow does not a summer make, but a swallow is still a swallow and the conditions for 2013 thus look brighter than at the beginning of 2012.
One of our more important investments during the year has been in the continued development of the bank platform which is to be launched during next year. The transition to more modern IT systems, and the rejuvenated customer experience of Avanza as an internet bank, is important in both the short and long term. More modern underlying systems make possible
cost-efficient growth in the future in terms of both the number of customers and the scope of our product offering. An enhanced customer experience on the internet will, therefore, strengthen Avanza’s competitive edge.
In spite of the positive growth in the number accounts and savings capital in a challenging market, I am not satisfied. Avanza Bank can and shall deliver strong growth and the path to that goal has entirely to do with putting the customer value in focus – something that we have always done but will emphasise even more. Low fees, more freedom of choice, better service and simplicity in everything we do. It is there we find the competitive advantages which can provide more added value for our customers. And through added value for our customers, we create added value for our shareholders.”
Martin Tivéus, Managing Director, Avanza Bank
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
The information contained in this report comprises information both that Avanza Bank Holding AB (publ.) is obliged to provide and that 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 January 2013.