Hellenic Bank on Wednesday released its financial results for the first nine months of 2022, posting a profit of €76.4 million, compared to a profit of €21 million in the corresponding period of 2021, reflecting a rise of 263 per cent year-on-year.
In addition, the bank recorded a net interest income of €205.9 million, a net interest margin of 1.47 per cent, as well as a cost-to-income ratio of 74 per cent, with the adjusted ratio coming at 66 per cent.
Commenting on the group’s financial results for the aforementioned period, Petros Arsalides, who is currently officiating the group’s Chief Executive Officer’s duties stated that “despite the challenging period, during the first nine months of the year, the country has experienced a strong economic rebound with a 5.4 per cent GDP growth in the third quarter of 2022”.
“Covid-19 related side effects significantly subsided, but market volatility remains high, fueled mainly by the uncertainty that the continuing crisis in Ukraine creates, and the high inflation rates,” he added, noting that “Hellenic Bank has delivered yet again an excellent set of financial results”.
Moreover, the bank reported that its voluntary early exit scheme, which saw approximately 450 employees depart their roles, reflecting a 17 per cent reduction in the group’s total number of employees, resulted in annual payroll savings of €30 million. The total cost of the retirement scheme amounted to €70 million.
In terms of new lending, the bank reported that it provided loans amounting to €0.8 billion during the first nine months of 2022, a 29 per cent increase over the corresponding period of 2021.
Regarding the bank’s capital position and funding, the bank recorded a capital adequacy ratio of 21.42 per cent, as well as a CET1 ratio of 19.13 per cent, significantly above minimum capital requirements.
Furthermore, the bank successfully completed its inaugural MREL issuance of eligible senior preferred notes of €100 million in July 2022.
Hellenic Bank also posted ample liquidity, with a liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) of 470 per cent, with €5.2 billion placed at the European Central Bank (ECB), allowing the bank to be in a position where it can benefit from a rise in interest rates.
“With a strong capital adequacy ratio of 21,42 per cent, well above the regulatory requirements, and ample liquidity, we are committed and simultaneously well positioned to continue supporting our retail and business customers, during this challenging period,” Arsalides said.
“Financing sectors such as health, education, energy, ICT, hospitality, transportation, and shipping remain a high priority to us, contributing to the competitiveness and productivity of the economy,” he added.
What is more, Arsalides explained that the bank’s three-year transformation journey is on track to address structural challenges, unleash the bank’s hidden potential and underpin the deployment of its strategy on sustainable profitability.
“Our bank is transforming into a customer-centric organisation, by improving customers’ experience through alternative channels, streamlining procedures and by offering simple and competitive products,” Arsalides stated.
“We focus on digitalisation and cost control, while enhancing the profile of our loan book through healthy growth with a strong focus on Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG),” he added.
Arsalides also said that following the reinstatement of salaries of former cooperative bank colleagues, as well as the successful completion of the bank’s voluntary early exit scheme, the bank continues to implement its transformation journey.
“Our aim is to actively and sustainably, manage down the high cost-to-income ratio of the bank, whilst in parallel, ensuring smooth operation, and long-term sustainability through a leaner and contemporary organisation,” Arsalides.
“Taking the opportunity, I would like to thank all our shareholders for their continuous support and confidence shown to us, and assure them, that the Hellenic Bank team remains fully committed to achieving the set goals and placing the Bank on solid foundations. I also extend my sincere appreciation to our people for their unparalleled commitment and hard work during these unprecedented times,” he concluded.