CEO blog: First steps in the right direction

Frank Vang-Jensen, President and Group CEO
20-02-06 13:30 | About Nordea | Frank Vang-Jensen

We announced Nordea’s financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2019 on Thursday.

Q4 was the first quarter in Nordea’s new phase and the execution of our new direction. It is good to see that we are proceeding as planned to deliver on our business plan and financial targets. Most importantly, the results reflect our three priorities – to drive income growth initiatives, optimise operational efficiency and create great customer experiences.

In the latter part of 2019, we saw stronger business activity and improved our revenue and operating profit. We continued to grow and gained a larger share of new mortgage customers and saw solid lending growth.

As I’ve stated before, our focus is on striking the right balance between cost and income. We delivered on our 2019 cost plans and our work to improve cost efficiency continues.

These are steps in the right direction, but let me be clear, we have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to further improve our performance to deliver on our 2022 financial targets, a return on equity above 10 per cent and a cost to income ratio of 50 per cent.

If we take a look beyond the results, I would like to highlight our work to improve service quality and create better customer experiences. We have already cut waiting times significantly at our 24/7 contact centres, and customer complaints have decreased by 20 per cent. Our new Nordic mobile app has been well received by customers and we have also extended our opening hours on evenings and weekends.

Now that 2019 is officially in the books, I’m happy that we have managed to launch our new organisational structure and got the new Group Leadership Team appointed.

We recently announced the appointments of Ian Smith as Nordea’s new Chief Financial Officer and Nina Arkilahti as the new Head of Business Banking. Ian and Nina are both seasoned leaders, and I look forward to working with them both.

With these first steps we are ready to take the next ones in the right direction – staying hungry and determined to deliver.

/Frank Vang-Jensen, President and Group CEO

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