Strong growth in the United States, Brazil and Spain helped Banco Santander post an 18 per cent increase in net income for the entire of 2018.
According to the annual results as published by the bank, it reported a net income of 7.81 billion euros or $8.93 billion in 2018 while the number in 2017 was at 6.62 billion euros.
In the last quarter of 2018, the Spanish bank also reported an increase of net income of 4 per cent compared to the previous quarter at 2.07 billion euros. The results of the company saw its shares rising marginally in morning trade.
She is “extremely proud” of the last three years, said Ana Botin, the executive chairman at the bank while speaking to the media.
“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved these three years, because we have … delivered growth, very few European banks delivered growth. We have delivered more than 20 percent of growth in the top line with profitability and strengthening the balance sheet,” she said in Madrid.
The current strategy of the bank would be continued, Botin also said. That strategy is “based on customer loyalty and digital excellence.”
In terms of the various operational regions of the bank in the world, the United States offered very good growth in profits with a 42 per cent year on year growth. There was a 22 per cent growth in profits from the operations of the bank in Brazil while Spain accounted for a 231 per cent year on year increase in profits for the bank. There was no positive growth for the bank in Argentina and the UK.
“We have a lot of faith in Brazil,” Botin said. “Brazil suffered one of the most deep recessions in history, there was a 9 percent decrease in GDP and our bank performed very well through that period,” she added.
Botin also mentioned her views on the election of the new leader Jair Bolsonaro and the policies and plans of the leader for Spain.
“The plan that they (the government) have to get the pension reform approved is the single most important thing,” she said. “There are other things they need to do but I believe you could see 10 years of growth in Brazil at 3, 4 percent.”
Problems in the Chinese, German and the UK economies were cited to be the primary reasons of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bringing down its forecasts for global growth last week.
But Botin believes that the larger banks could benefit from the global slowdown. “There is no doubt there will some slowdown in global growth, but I think that’s not bad because it could be a more sustainable growth and that’s actually relatively good for banks,” she said.
“If we have a more sustainable growth, we are going to have margins maybe widening a little bit, with a bit higher rates but not too much — that’s good for our non-performing loans and that’s also good for demand for credit.”
(Adapted from CNBC.com)