Record year for BNP Paribas Fortis, which swallows up bpost bank - Companies

Record year for BNP Paribas Fortis, which swallows up bpost bank – Companies

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A record year. Last of the four main banks in the country to engage in the exercise, BNP Paribas Fortis, which notably includes subsidiaries in Turkey (TEB) and Luxembourg (BGL) as well as the leasing company Arval, published this Friday morning, a very, very good final result for 2021. The best profit in its history, in fact, that is to say since its takeover by BNP Paribas in 2009.

The large Belgian subsidiary of the French banking group indeed generated a net profit of 2.6 billion euros last year, a strong increase of 29% compared to the profit made in 2020, which amounted to (only) 1.87 billion euros. In doing so, it also exceeds its pre-covid profit of 2.2 billion made in 2019.

Positive scissor effect

This historic performance was driven by solid revenue growth (+7.5%), despite persistently low interest rates and pressure on margins. This revenue growth can be explained by the good performance of the consolidated subsidiaries (Arval, TEB, etc.) as well as the good performance of retail banking activities in Belgium, which have all obviously benefited from the economic rebound.

The credit machine thus ran at full speed: 32.8 billion new loans to households and businesses (+ 16.7%). In total, the overall volume of outstanding loans crossed the 130 billion euro mark. Added to this are commissions (expenses, etc.), which increase, and a cost of risk, which decreases. At the same time, the bank is also pleased with its policy of controlling operational costs, which increased by less than 3% in 2021 (they even fell by a good percentage in Belgium), highlighting in passing the scissor effect positive thus generated between rising revenues and well-controlled costs.

Disappearance of the bpost bank brand

On the sidelines of the publication of these results, BNP Paribas Fortis also lifted a corner of the veil on its plans for bpost bank, of which it became a 100% shareholder last year, following the repurchase of 50% of bpost’s shares. If the operation is approved by the competition authorities, the banking subsidiary of the Belgian postal group will be fully integrated into BNP Paribas Fortis on January 1, 2024.

From this date, BNP Paribas Fortis customers will have access to 657 post offices, which will offer basic banking services (opening accounts, deposits, transfers, loans, etc.). The 600,000 customers of bpost bank will automatically become customers of BNP Paribas Fortis, which will bring the total number of customers of the bank with the green logo to four million.

Operationally, the merger means, among other things, the takeover of approximately 300 employees from the back office of bpost bank whose name and logo are set to disappear. As for the commercial agreement signed between the two parties, it provides, for the use of post offices and staff, the payment by BNP Paribas Fortis to bpost of a service fairy, the amount of which is not disclosed.

New branch closures

At the same time as this integration, BNP Paribas will speed up the rationalization of its own branch network. Certainly, the 660 post points will be added to the current network of BNP Paribas Fortis, which will have, in four years, that is to say in 2025, a total of 880 contact points. But with only 220 own agencies, against 386 currently. That is a reduction of 43% in the number of its “in-house” agencies. In addition, these will only be open by appointment, for customers looking for advice, for example in terms of investment products or more specialized loans.

Is this further segmentation aimed at directing the less banked customers of BNP Paribas Fortis towards the basic offer of bpost bank? The future will tell. In the meantime, thanks to its good results, and given the good solvency ratio displayed (equity cushion of 18%), BNP Paribas Fortis will be able to take care of its shareholder. While Belgium contributes 57%, the bank will distribute all of its 2021 profit to its French parent company, in which the federal state still owns a little less than 8% of the capital.

A record year. Last of the four main banks in the country to engage in the exercise, BNP Paribas Fortis, which notably includes subsidiaries in Turkey (TEB) and Luxembourg (BGL) as well as the leasing company Arval, published this Friday morning, a very, very good final result for 2021. The best profit in its history, in fact, that is to say since its takeover by BNP Paribas in 2009. The large Belgian subsidiary of the French banking group has indeed generated the last year a net profit of 2.6 billion euros, a strong increase of 29% compared to the profit made in 2020, which amounted to (only) 1.87 billion euros. In doing so, it also exceeded its pre-covid profit of 2.2 billion made in 2019. Positive scissors effect This historic performance is explained by solid revenue growth (+7.5%), despite the persistent low interest rates interest and pressure on margins. This revenue growth can be explained by the good performance of the consolidated subsidiaries (Arval, TEB, etc.) as well as the good performance of the retail banking activities in Belgium, which all obviously benefited from the economic rebound. The credit machine thus ran at full speed: 32.8 billion in new loans to households and businesses (+16.7%). In total, the overall volume of outstanding loans crossed the 130 billion euro mark. Added to this are commissions (expenses, etc.), which increase, and a cost of risk, which decreases. At the same time, the bank is also pleased with its policy of controlling operational costs, which increased by less than 3% in 2021 (they even fell by a good percentage in Belgium), highlighting in passing the scissor effect positive thus generated between rising revenues and well-controlled costs. Disappearance of the bpost banque brandIn addition to the publication of these results, BNP Paribas Fortis also lifted a corner of the veil on its plans for bpost banque, in which it became a shareholder 100% last year, following the buyback of 50% of bpost’s shares. If the operation is approved by the competition authorities, the banking subsidiary of the Belgian postal group will be fully integrated into BNP Paribas Fortis on 1 January 2024. From this date, BNP Paribas Fortis customers will have access to the 657 offices of post, which will offer basic banking services (opening accounts, deposits, transfers, loans, etc.). The 600,000 customers of bpost bank will automatically become customers of BNP Paribas Fortis, bringing the total number of customers of the bank with the green logo to four million. around 300 bpost bank back-office employees whose name and logo are set to disappear. As for the commercial agreement signed between the two parties, it provides, for the use of post offices and staff, the payment by BNP Paribas Fortis to bpost of a service fee, the amount of which is not disclosed. New branch closures In parallel with this integration, BNP Paribas will accelerate the rationalization of its own branch network. Certainly, the 660 post points will be added to the current network of BNP Paribas Fortis, which will have, in four years, that is to say in 2025, a total of 880 contact points. But with only 220 own agencies, against 386 currently. That is a reduction of 43% in the number of its “in-house” agencies. In addition, these will only be open by appointment, for customers looking for advice, for example on investment products or for more specialized loans. direct less banked BNP Paribas Fortis customers towards bpost bank’s basic offer? The future will tell. In the meantime, thanks to its good results, and given the good solvency ratio displayed (equity cushion of 18%), BNP Paribas Fortis will be able to take care of its shareholder. While Belgium contributes 57%, the bank will distribute all of its 2021 profit to its French parent company, in which the federal state still owns a little less than 8% of the capital.

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