Solid performance in turbulent times

Frank Vang-Jensen

28-04-2022 06:21

The start of 2022 has been extraordinary. Within the first couple of months we witnessed a new wave of the pandemic, followed by a rapid lifting of restrictions. And then the war in Ukraine started in late February, shaking our societal building blocks – peace, security and stability.

Our thoughts are with all who are suffering and worried for their loved ones. We are carrying out our role in society, supporting our people and customers, helping the people of Ukraine and ensuring business continuity.

We don’t have any business in Ukraine and our exposure to Russia is very limited. We decided to close down our Russian operations in 2019 and completed the exit in the first quarter. We have also decided to exit all fund investments connected to Russia.

Nordea is a strong bank and continues to be a safe and trusted partner for customers, employees, shareholders and broader society. The resilience of our business has been tested and proven throughout the bank’s history. Our performance in the first quarter is no exception.

In the first quarter we continued to make steady progress, growing our business, driving high customer activity and gaining market shares across the Nordics.

Mortgage lending volumes increased by 7%. Our lending to small and medium-sized enterprises increased by 6%. Large corporate lending grew for the second quarter in a row, increasing by 11%, with good profitability.

While our performance during the quarter was solid, the war in Ukraine has had an impact on our business. Our assets under management decreased by 5%, quarter on quarter, due to the market turbulence, and many corporate finance transactions were postponed. Customer activity is picking up again but there is no doubt that economic uncertainty remains high and business and consumer confidence is more fragile than in 2021.

All in all, Nordea remains strong and stable despite the turbulent external environment. We have now entered the new strategy period, 2022–25. Our financial target for 2025, a return on equity above 13%, is a firm target that we are committed to meeting. In order to do so, we have reshaped our key priorities, which are: to create the best omnichannel customer experience, to drive focused and profitable growth, and to increase operational and capital efficiency.

This is our way forward – to be the preferred partner for Nordic customers in need of a broad range of financial services. In both good and challenging times.

Interim result
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