Nordea posted a record 30.7 billion kroner in profits for 2012. It’s a major feat considering that its result for 2007, the year before the financial crisis struck, was 29.1 billion kroner.
“In 2012 we had more customers, capital and profit than ever before,” group CEO Christian Clausen told Jyllands-Posten. “We are ahead of schedule of the plan that was initiated in 2011. We have laid a firm foundation for Nordea with closer customer relations, unchanged costs and increased equity.”
Clausen added that the strong result was due to acquiring 85,000 new customers as well as increasing business with existing customers.
In the fourth quarter alone, the number of customers taking out special and premium bank accounts rose by 12,000 to 3.2 million, which is the highest number of these types of customers the bank has ever had.
While dividends per share have risen from 1.94 kroner in 2011 to 2.54 kroner this year, the bank managed to increase pre-tax profits by 16 percent by keeping costs stable and increasing interest earnings.
“Nordea has a strong position,” Clausen wrote. “Our size and breadth means that Nordea’s earning potential is among the most stable in the sector.”
Clausen wants to keep the bank focused on keeping down expenses by increasing cost-efficiency by three percent annually. One of the strategies will be to offer more services online in order to reduce the number of services that require customers to enter one of the bank's 770 branches. Nordea has noticed a significant increase in the number of customers using internet and mobile banking. Around 800,000 customers now use internet banking, which is twice the number from the year before.