CEO blog: Solid performance in exceptional times

Frank Vang-Jensen, President & Chief Executive Officer.
20-04-29 13:00 | About Nordea | Frank Vang-Jensen

Earlier today we published our first-quarter results for 2020. In the last few months the COVID-19 crisis has affected us all. What started as a health crisis has escalated into a crisis for the global economy and societies worldwide. This has been a dramatic change. In this situation banks are significant contributors to societies. We want to be – and we are – part of the solution.

Nordea entered this crisis from a very strong position. As a very well-capitalised bank, we are capable of supporting and meeting the needs of our customers. All the actions we have taken in the past months have focused on doing all we can to support our customers and to keep our employees safe.

In March, we launched extended instalment-free periods to both household and business customers. So far, we have received almost 70,000 applications in total, and our approval rate has been over 95%.

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we work with our customers. Despite limitations to customer meetings and temporary lockdowns of our branch offices in a few countries, our customer activity has remained high and we have doubled the share of remote meetings from 40% to 80%.

Thanks to our dedicated employees and their extraordinary efforts, we have been able to stay fully operational even with more than 70% working remotely and we have seen our customer satisfaction levels improve.

Under the challenging conditions, we delivered solid first-quarter results. Net interest income increased by 5% and net commission income by 4% due to our continued high business activity. On the other hand, net fair value was significantly affected by the volatility we experienced in the financial markets.

When setting the new direction for Nordea last year, we decided on a new business plan and the new financial targets. That means that we will improve our operational efficiency, drive income growth initiatives and create great customer experiences.

We are progressing in line with the plan and we are focused on the execution, also during these challenging times. We remain committed to delivering on our financial targets in 2022. It is still too early to conclude on the longer-term economic consequences of COVID-19, but we are staying agile and ready to take mitigating steps over time.

I would like to thank all our customers for their flexibility and understanding, and our employees for their hard work and tremendous efforts during these extraordinary times.

Stay safe and healthy.

/Frank Vang-Jensen, President and Group CEO

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