Ranking leader after the first half of the year
- For the first half of 2018, PKO Bank Polski Group reported a net profit of PLN 1.69 billion, 22.3% up from last year, placing first in the Polish financial sector.
- The numbers of PKO Bank Polski clients are growing dynamically, translating into a growth of its business scale and business performance.
- Its strong capital position enabled PLN 688 million in dividend payments to shareholders.
The first halof of 2018 were very good both for the Polish economy and for PKO Bank Polski. GDP growth exceeded 5%, investment accelerated, Poles’ wages grew dynamically. In these conditions, PKO Bank Polski Group generated the highest net profit in the banking sector: PLN 1.69 billion, 22.3% higher than for the same period of last year.
This performance was helped by the strong business results which reached nearly PLN 6.5 billion for the first six months and were driven mainly by the notable improvement in net interest income (up 8.3% year-on-year to a level exceeding PLN 4.5 billion) and net fee and commission income (up 2.7% year-on-year to nearly PLN 1.5 billion). In the second quarter of 2018, the result on banking operations reached a record level of PLN 3.28 billion.
- PKO Bank Polski is the undisputed leader of the banking top league, and for the team of our Group companies the first half of 2018 brought the highest net profit of PLN 1.69 billion in the financial sector. Good strategy, continuous tactical improvements and accurate passes have yielded results. The numbers of our clients are growing dynamically, translating into a growth of our business scale and business performance. A strict cost discipline has also been helpful. With our careful approach to risk, we have met the industry arbitrator’s capital requirements and paid PLN 688 million in dividends to shareholders - says Zbigniew Jagiełło, CEO of PKO Bank Polski.
Undisputed leader in Polish banking
The assets of the PKO Bank Polski Group at the end of the first half of 2018 were at PLN 298.7 billion, 4.3% more than in the first half of 2017. Financing for Group clients increased to almost PLN 230 billion, with client savings entrusted to the bank growing by over 10% to almost PLN 263 billion. PKO Bank Polski remains an unquestioned leader of the Polish banking sector with the highest market share in both lending and deposits.
Strong capital position
Consistent cost control and business development have yielded a significant improvement in cost effectiveness measured by the C/I ratio, which was at 45.3 after the first half of 2018. Careful risk management with the added impact of the strong Polish economy have lowered the ratio of loans with recognized impairment to 5.2% and the cost of risk to 67 bp. As a result of the consistent growth of capital ratios, in August 2018, PKO Bank Polski paid PLN 688 million in dividends to its shareholders. The bank has also met the KNF's criteria for payment of dividends from the 2018 profit.
More bank accounts, new card functionalities
The strategy pursued, which foresees expansion of the scale of operations through the use of advanced technologies and consistent digitization of services, and a focus on client needs, has been yielding tangible results. During the year, the number of active current accounts increased by 4.1 percent, or by nearly 290,000. At the same time, the number of cards issued after the first half of 2018 was over 8.65 million, up 7% from the last year. Since June, individual customers holding PKO Bank Polski debit cards have been able to tie those cards to their foreign currency accounts. Another novelty is the availability of Garmin Pay services to card holders. Those individual customers who have a smart watch equipped with that functionality may make proximity payments using their payment cards.
100 million IKO transactions
IKO, a mobile banking application, has continuously been growing in popularity. There were 2.6 million active applications in the middle of the year, that is 78% more than a year ago. Application transactions have also been record high. Clients of PKO Bank Polski and Inteligo have already made 100 million mobile payments. Five years ago, IKO was most often used to withdraw cash from ATMs, today almost a third of transactions are online payments, and every month the bank records as many as 7 million mobile transactions. Responding to clients' needs, in the second quarter of this year, the IKO application was made available in two additional languages: Ukrainian and Russian. User satisfaction with IKO has made it the world’s best mobile application according to the British Retail Banker International.
PLN 1 billion in online currency exchange
Since January 2018, PKO Bank Polski clients have been able to exchange currencies via iPKO, an online transaction application, and since July, the service has been available 24 hours seven days a week and may also be used via IKO, the mobile application. Thirty five thousand clients have already logged into the online currency exchange, performing over 200,000 transactions for the total of over PLN 1 billion. The online FX platform allows transactions in as many as 28 currency pairs, and combined with complementary products, such as the multi-currency card, the platform quickly processes daily payments in foreign currencies. With this service and related products, individual and business clients can better manage their finances.
PKO TFI grows in a shrinking market
In June, the court registered the merger of PKO TFI and Gamma TFI. The combination marks the first TFI’s acquisition in the PKO Bank Polski Group. PKO TFI is currently the market leader in retail investment funds, with an 18 percent market share. Despite the 2.8 percent contraction of the Polish funds market in the second quarter, PKO TFI generated solid growth: managed assets increased 5.4 percent to PLN 33.4 billion. The growing asset value is primarily due to the positive sales result.
The first half of 2018 also ended with good performance of other companies of the PKO Bank Polski Group. These play an increasingly important role in Group development, making up an ecosystem of complementary financial services. Through organic growth as well as selective acquisitions, they are increasing their market shares and strengthening their positions in particular market segments. Using the synergies of cooperation within the Group, their profits have been growing each year, contributing ever more to the consolidated performance of PKO Bank Polski.
In-house accelerator for start-ups: "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!"
PKO Bank Polski has launched recruitment for its proprietary accelerator program called "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!". This is the first accelerator with API components dedicated to start-ups. The program is addressed to the start-ups which develop innovative solutions in financial services. Young companies taking part in "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" will receive support in the form of technology and expertise. The best start-ups that pass the recruitment process can also count on the bank's support in scaling up their businesses. The launch of the "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" accelerator represents another step in PKO Bank Polski’s cooperation with the start-up community. In 2017, the bank was the first Polish financial institution to invest directly in a fintech company, and is also the first Polish bank to implement blockchain technology in the process of authenticating banking documents.
Domination in JST services, leader of the banking consortium funding Azoty Group
In the second quarter of 2018, PKO Bank Polski signed a contract to handle the budget of the Małopolskie voivodeship and its subordinate organizational units. As a result, the Bank strengthened its position of an undisputed leader in services for local governments; its services cover more than half of all voivodeships and voivodeship-status cities. The Bank also consistently maintains its position in the corporate finance segment. In the last quarter, a consortium of banks with PKO Bank Polski as the leader and agent, signed a contract with the Azoty Group raising the loan granted in 2015 from PLN 1.5 billion to PLN 3 billion, with PKO Bank Polski’s share of PLN 1.05 billion. The loan will allow the Azoty Group to finance general corporate needs, including implementation of its strategy and investment plan until 2026.
PKO Bank Polski is the undisputable leader of the Polish banking sector. In first half of 2018, its consolidated net profit amounted to PLN 1.69 mld (the largest in the Polish banking sector) and the value of assets reached over PLN 298.7 billion. The Bank is the basic provider of financial services for all customer segments, achieving the highest shares in the deposit market (17.9 percent), loans (17.7 percent), leasing market (12.0 percent) and in the market of investment funds not dedicated (17.2 percent). With over 8.3 million payment cards, the bank is the largest debit and credit card issuer in Poland with a market share of over 21%. Thanks to the development of digital tools, including the IKO application, which has in first half of 2018 - 2.6 million active applications, PKO Bank Polski has become the most mobile bank in Poland. The Capital Group's companies strengthen the Bank's strong position. The Brokerage House of PKO Bank Polski is a leader in terms of the number and value of IPO and SPO transactions on the capital market. The effective implementation of the growth strategy meant that at the end of 2017, PKO Bank Polski was the most valuable company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.