Norwegian Finans Holding (the NFH Group) reported comprehensive income in the third quarter of 2020 NOK 500.6 million after tax, compared with NOK 582.1 million in the second quarter. The decrease is mainly caused by lower gains on securities, currency fluctuations and higher digital marketing costs, partly offset by lower provision for loan losses.
The common equity tier 1 ratio was 21.4%, compared to our internal target of 17.5%. The capital ratio includes a 209 bp dividend set aside according to the NFH Group dividend policy.
Return on equity was 19.6%, compared with 24.0% in the second quarter. The return on assets was 3.2%, compared with 3.9% in the previous quarter.
The NFH Group’s comprehensive income for the first nine months in 2020 amounted to NOK 1 451 million, compared with NOK 1 477 million for the same period in 2019. The decrease in profit growth is mainly due to higher provision for loan losses related to the uncertain outlook of COVID-19, partly offset by loan growth.
Gross loans to customers increased NOK 124 million compared with a decrease of NOK 2 292 million in the previous quarter and totaled NOK 44 847 million. Currency adjusted gross loan growth was NOK -286.0 million compared with NOK -1 276 million in the previous quarter. Broken down by product the currency adjusted loan growth for instalment loans was NOK 54.1 million compared with NOK -653.0 million in the previous quarter, and for credit cards NOK -340.1 million compared with NOK -623.0 million in the previous quarter. The positive growth in instalment loans is mainly due to higher new sales and the negative growth in credit cards is mainly due to lower customer spending related to COVID-19.
The MREL requirement was applied from June 30, 2020. The bank was compliant with the MREL requirement as of September 30, 2020. In October 2020 the Board of Directors decided to apply to the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway to merge Norwegian Finans Holding ASA and Bank Norwegian AS, and preparations for this are ongoing.
At the end of the third quarter 2020 the NFH Group had a customer base of 1 752 200 customers, which is up 69 100 compared to one year ago. The customer base can be broken down into 1 270 000 credit card customers, 208 500 instalment loan customers and 273 700 deposit customers.
Society is entering the fourth quarter with continuous uncertainty related to the length and consequences of the pandemic COVID-19. The Nordic economies proves to be resilient and the governments supportive actions reduce the negative impact for business activities. Unemployment rates have been reduced in all the Nordic countries, yet still at elevated levels compared to the start of the year. The future still holds high level of uncertainty related to the development of the pandemic and a second European wave is building up.
The NFH Group's resilient financial position with high profitability, strong capitalization and high levels of liquid assets make the NFH Group well equipped to withstand the anticipated adverse effects of COVID-19. In September, the growth strategy for Bank Norwegian was confirmed. Organic growth of our core business in the Nordic, as well as commencing our European expansion aiming to establish business in one or two countries by the end of 2021. In the Nordics the focus will be to further enhance our fully digital, customer centric core business consumer lending, with innovative solutions and high-quality customer service. Our European expansion will be possible with our industry-leading cost efficiency, strong financial position and our well-proven method for entering new countries in the past.
Combining this strong historical track record with NFH Group’s solid financial position, the timing for expansion and growth is considered very good. The European expansion will be made from current domicile and timing and location naturally dependent on the pandemic’s development.
For further information, see Report for the third quarter 2020, Investor Presentation for the third quarter 2020, Excel Factbook for the third quarter 2020 and Alternative Performance Measures for the third quarter 2020, which are available at:
For any questions please call:
CFO Klara Lise Aasen; phone : +47 47635583
Head of Treasury Mats Benserud; phone: +47 95891539
Head of Communications and Public Affairs Kai-Morten Terning; phone: +47 90531898
This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 the Norwegian Securities Trading Act