- Nordea, the largest lender in the Nordic region, reported better-than-expected Q1 profits, driven by rising interest rates and positive lending volumes.
- The bank plans to cut costs and invest in digitalization measures to ensure continued profitability.
Nordea, the largest lender in the Nordic region, has reported a better-than-expected gain in Q1 profits on the back of rising interest rates, despite weaker Nordic currencies.
The Finnish banking group posted an operating profit of €1.48 billion ($1.64 billion) for the quarter, up from €1.1 billion a year ago, beating analysts’ forecasts of €1.36 billion in a Refinitiv poll. The bank’s net fee and commission income fell 8% YoY to €765 million, while net interest income rose 35% to €1.77 billion.
Q1 Profits Results Driven By Rising Interest Rates and Positive Lending Volumes
Nordea’s positive results aligned with other Nordic banks, such as Swedish rival SEB, which reported higher net interest income and beat market expectations the day before. Despite slowing economic activity, Nordea’s CEO, Frank Vang-Jensen, attributed the strong results to the bank’s continued positive lending volumes.
- The bank’s quarterly return on equity increased to 17.1% from 12.6% a year ago.
- Nordea has also reiterated its expectation that the return on equity will exceed 13% for the full year 2023.
- The bank reported that individual net loan losses remained low despite the Nordic economies slowing down, and it kept its management judgment buffer unchanged at €585 million.
While Nordea’s positive Q1 results beat expectations, there are still concerns about the bank’s future in the face of a challenging global economic landscape. The bank’s CEO acknowledged that the pandemic continues to present risks to the economic outlook, particularly concerning future credit losses.
Cost-cutting and Digitalization Measures To Ensure Continued Profitability
The bank is taking steps to address these risks and ensure continued profitability.
- In March, Nordea announced plans to cut costs by €150 million per year and to invest €600 million in digitalization measures over the next three years.
- The bank aims to improve efficiency and better serve customers through these efforts.
Despite the challenges facing the banking industry, Nordea’s strong Q1 results demonstrate the potential for banks to weather the storm and continue to generate profits by adapting to changing economic conditions and implementing effective cost-cutting measures.