On Thursday 7 September 2017, Board of Directors of BGL BNP Paribas examined the consolidated financial statements as at 30 June 2017.
Net banking income reached €656.6 million, down slightly compared with the first half of 2016 (-2%). Despite solid growth in sums outstanding, commercial activities suffered a fall in net interest income (-2%), partly offset by an increase in fee income (+7%). Low interest rates continued to weigh heavily on banking operations.
Under favourable economic conditions in Luxembourg, Retail and Corporate Banking recorded growth in average loan outstandings of 5%, boosted by an increase in mortgages and investment loans. Average deposit volumes grew by 17%, largely due to excellent inflows from corporate clients associated with the development of international cash management services.
In the first half of 2017, Wealth Management generated growth of 10% in its assets under management. This reflects the appeal of its products and services.
The bank took advantage of its position in BNP Paribas’ international network to offer a comprehensive range of products and solutions to corporate clients and institutional investors through its Corporate and Institutional Banking business line. This business line continues to secure high levels of income thanks to the excellent performance of its financing activities.
Leasing International’s business operations, which are benefiting from ongoing commercial development in strategic regions, recorded growth of 5% in average outstandings, resulting in a consolidation of margins and a 2% rise in interest income.
Overheads were €348.4 million, up 3% compared with the first half of 2016 (€337.7 million). This increase was mostly attributable to spending on strategic projects (€7.1 million) and a rise in allocations to the Single Resolution Fund and the Luxembourg Deposit Guarantee Fund (€2.4 million).
Cost of risk stood at €18.7 million, which is extremely low for around €28 billion in outstandings.
The share of the net profits of equity affiliates (i.e. the share of net profits of subsidiaries in which the bank does not have a majority shareholding), stood at €16.8 million, compared with €7.9 million in the first half of 2016. The improvement is due mainly to the larger contribution from certain non-strategic subsidiaries of Leasing International.
Other non-operating profits stood at €5.6 million. They essentially came from the sale of a building for a capital gain of €4.7 million.
Consolidated net profit excluding minority interests was €170.3 million in the first half of 2017, up €21 million or 14% compared with the first half of 2016 (€149.3 million).
The balance sheet total was €49.5 billion at 30 June 2017.
High solvency maintained
The bank’s solvency ratio was 23.4% (under Basel III rules), well above the regulatory minimum. With the Group’s share of regulatory capital amounting to €5.7 billion, BGL BNP Paribas is well placed to back its clients’ projects and investments.
Innovation for the bank’s clients
BGL BNP Paribas furthered its efforts to enhance clients’ experience with the bank and meet its clients’ expectations for digital services.
Of the projects introduced, the web banking overhaul means the bank can now offer clients a more efficient website with new features, smoother and more intuitive browsing, and a display adapted to smartphones and tablets.
Meanwhile, the bank launched an ambitious programme to build digital services that meet clients’ needs. Using innovative working methods inspired by start-ups, special teams are developing prototypes of new solutions, some of which are tested by staff and clients of the bank, and fine-tuned on the basis of feedback, before being offered to the wider client base.
From 9 to 11 June 2017, BNP Paribas in Luxembourg participated for the first time in the BNP Paribas International Hackathon, held simultaneously in 10 cities around the world. This event in Luxembourg brought together around 10 start-ups and almost 100 internal experts and coaches to address digital developments and their impact on client experience. During a co-creation stage, the winning start-up, Tetrao, has the chance to turn its project into an operational solution. If the joint project is successful, this technology will considerably reduce the time it takes to open accounts for professionals.
However, innovation does not end with the client experience; it also involves current and future employees. In a March 2017 study by Potentialpark, a company specialised in the appraisal of companies’ digital recruitment strategies, BGL BNP Paribas took first place in the Online Applications category. Also at the beginning of the year, BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg received the prestigious Top Employer Luxembourg award for the second year running, reflecting the excellent working conditions provided for its staff.
A responsible, committed bank
As a responsible player, BGL BNP Paribas has reaffirmed its commitment to corporate responsibility and the sporting, cultural and social life of Luxembourg in 2017.
5 April 2017 saw the official launch of Microlux, the first microfinance institution active in Luxembourg and the Greater Region, and in which BGL BNP Paribas is involved alongside ADA (Appui au Développement Autonome – Support for Autonomous Development), ADIE (Association pour le droit à l’initiative économique – Association for the Right to Economic Initiative) and EIF (European Investment Fund). Microlux offers loans to individual clients or social enterprises unable to access ‘traditional’ bank loans.
With a view to supporting the work of Luxembourg dairy producers in supplying and promoting fair-trade milk, the bank has renewed its partnership with Fairkoperativ for another three years, remaining the lead partner in the D’fair Mëllech initiative.
BGL BNP Paribas has also maintained its long-standing support for cultural and sporting activities in the country. In March 2017, it signed a three-year extension to its partnership with the Luxembourg Football Federation. As lead partner to the Luxembourg Olympic and Sporting Committee, the bank attended the Games of the Small States of Europe, held from 28 May to 4 June 2017 in San Marino, where it organised its traditional reception for the Luxembourg team. In terms of cultural patronage, the bank supports many cultural initiatives such as concerts at the Philharmonic Hall, the Luxembourg City Film Festival, Echternach Festival, Wiltz Festival and Blues’n Jazz Rally.
At a social level, staff have enabled the bank to support numerous associations and charitable works. These include HOPE, an association created as an employee initiative, and the Coup de Pouce (Helping Hand) programme in which the bank supports its current and retired workers’ involvement in public interest initiatives, as well as their skill sharing.