In 2014, the banking sector operated under conditions of historically low but compared with the previous year relatively stable market interest rates. The sector was challenged by other regulatory factors such as the reduction of the interchange fee that had an adverse impact on the banks’ income.
Irrespective of the changing conditions, the ING Bank Śląski S.A. Capital Group consistently pursued its strategy aimed at increasing the scale of operations through acquisition of new clients and increased business volumes. For another consecutive year, the Group increased its lending and deposit portfolios considerably, while maintaining good quality assets and sustaining solid capital and liquidity positions. The Bank Supervisory Board actively assisted the Management Board in all their efforts through close analysis of their actions and also participated in the making of key decisions. The Supervisory Board monitored market risk, liquidity and capital adequacy management areas with particular care. The Supervisory Board were also involved in the setting of the Group’s priority development directions.
As at the end of 2014, loan receivables from customers amounted to PLN 57.1 billion, up by 17.5% from the previous year. Concurrently, the value of funds deposited by clients grew by 12.0% and totalled PLN 75.7 billion as at the yearend. The increase in commercial balances translated into a higher balance sheet total of the Group, which at the yearend amounted to 99.9 billion, up by 15% from the prior year. It is worth emphasising that these impressive increases in business volumes were achieved through the efforts of the Bank, without any one-off factors such as acquisitions.
It should be recognised that the Group employs the highest standards of credit risk assessment and this contributed an improvement in the quality of assets. As at the end of 2014, impaired receivables fell to 4.1%, compared with 4.6% in the previous year. Consistently, the quality of loans granted by the Bank is significantly better than the market average. As at the yearend, the share of impaired receivables for the sector reached 7.0%.
A solid capital base is crucial for continuing the Group’s strategy of dynamic growth. As at the yearend, the total capital ratio, calculated under the CRD IV/CRR (Basel III) guidelines, was at a prudentially comfortable level of 14.2%. The balanced growth on both sides of the balance sheet led to an LTD ratio of 73% as at the yearend. This means that the Group’s liquidity will support the further development of the loan portfolio.
In 2014, the Bank Capital Group reported net profit of PLN 1,041, which is over 8% higher than the previous highest result, that of 2013. Considering the relatively difficult market conditions for banks, the result demonstrates that the Management Board of the ING Bank Śląski S.A. Capital Group not only fully achieved their strategic goals, but also managed to counteract the external conditions that adversely impacted the Bank’s profitability.
In view of the Group’s sound capital position, which will enable further dynamic growth, the Supervisory Board endorse the Management Board’s proposal concerning the dividend payout to shareholders from the 2014 profit.
I have every reason to believe that the ING Bank Śląski S.A. Group will continue to pursue its strategy with success, particularly as many factors suggest that the Polish economy will further expand in the future.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board