The Group’s outstanding loans to customers were 181.3 Bn NOK at year end 2020, an increase of 10% or 16 Bn NOK compared to year end 2019. The increased outstanding loans to customers had a positive effect on net interest income with an increase of 6%. Customer deposits grew with 24 %, ending at 81,1 Bn NOK.
Profit before tax for the Group ended at 2 701 MM NOK in 2020, down 25% compared to last year. The main driver of the decrease is higher net impairment losses compared to 2019 were COVID-19 reserves is the main driver.
The group delivers stable results in a challenging year. We maintain our profitability relative to lending size and have had discipline on the operating expense, says Michael Hvidsten, CEO of Santander Consumer Bank.
The share of auto related loans (car loans, leasing and car dealer stock financing) constitutes 80% of the bank’s loans.
The Group has also focused on how to contribute to the shift to a greener economy. As the Nordic market leader in auto-financing, Santander is already today a major player in financing electrical vehicles. Through our Green Bonds framework, The Group successfully issued an inaugural green bond in 2020. The issuance proceeds of SEK 1 billion will be used to finance and/or re-finance new and existing retail loan and lease contracts for electric passenger vehicles (EVs only).
The Group continues to pilot a subscription-based mobility model in Norway and Finland, SHFT. SHFT is an “all-inclusive” deal giving flexibility to swap cars, responding to more flexible mobility trends.
In 2020, The Group increased our focus on the financing of green energy solutions for consumer homeowners. Our Danish and Finnish businesses have established agreements with a range of dealers and anticipate further business growth in this sector.
We acknowledge our own responsibility to contribute to the green shift. We believe that it is possible to combine growth and sustainability and see this area as an important part of our Responsible banking agenda, says Hvidsten.