Comments from the CEO
”In March, our main event, Avanza Forum, was held for the ninth year in a row. The increased interest in savings and investments was noticeable in our visitor numbers, and we welcomed 5,000 visiting customers in the Ericsson Globe, a 40 percent increase compared with last year. We also continue to improve our offering. During the quarter, we lowered the fees for trading on the U.S. stock markets in response to the increased interest in American shares on behalf of our customers and are now able to offer customers trading at less than a tenth of the fees of some of the major banks.
Record-high customer inflow from the large banks
Historically speaking, the first quarter usually opens up on a positive note. Many people review their savings situation facing the New Year. This usually leads to increased activity and this year more than ever. We believe that the launch of our new mortgage product, our new banking web site and an increased market presence since the end of last year, have all created an increased interest in our offering. Meanwhile, the economic climate has been favourable with a long period of positive stock market development, in combination with low returns in the interest rate market. Despite a certain degree of slowdown towards the end of the quarter in conjunction with the instability in Ukraine and Russia, we can look back at the best quarter in the history of Avanza in terms of growth in new customers and net inflow. The net inflow of SEK 5.5 billion during the first quarter implied an increase of 68 percent and the inflow of new customers totalling 14,500 represented a 63 percent increase compared with the same period last year. The growth has continued during the first two weeks of April with close to SEK 1 billion in net inflow and strong customer inflow. Consequently, we have good hopes in our ability to exceed this year’s long-term growth targets: an increase of 20,000–30,000 new customers and securing at least 5 percent of the total net inflow to the Swedish savings market.
Avanza Zero exceeds SEK 10 billion in assets under management
The strong inflow into mutual funds continues. Our most popular fund, Avanza Zero, the fund with zero fees, has now passed the 200,000 savers mark, as well as surpassing SEK 10 billion of assets under management. Meanwhile during the latter part of the quarter, we could see that many customers now selling and taking home their gains on Swedish index funds and biotech funds in favour of fixed-income funds while waiting for signals as to where the market is headed.
Expansion within the sale of Occupational Pension and Private Banking
In the middle of January, we opened up the doors to our new office in Gothenburg as an important step in our ambition to further our position within the Occupational Pensions sector and within Private Banking. Simultaneously, we extended our sales force within Occupational Pensions in Stockholm and have thereby doubled our selling power compared with last year. With a geographically expanded presence in western Sweden, we look forward to being able to maintain our strong growth rate within Occupational Pensions and Private Banking.”
Stockholm, 15 April 2014
Martin Tivéus, CEO Avanza