Thanks to the commercial strategy pursued during 2017, Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar has been able to attract more customers, boost customer loyalty, grant more credit, grow the volume of managed customer funds and continue to gain market share.
Total assets are up 3.4% year-on-year at 40,507 million eurosand total business volume under management is 70,547 millon euros, with a 4% increase.Performing loans to customers registered growth of 3.4%, driven by new lending to companies and the self-employed, which is up 32%, especially lending to the agrifood segment, in which the Group maintains its position as top player, with a market share in Spain of around 13%, thanks to its deep knowledge of companies and producers' needs and its broad, specialised range of products and services.
Managed retail customer funds have also grown, by 5.1% to 30,067 million euros, with a 27.3% increase in off-balance-sheet customer funds, such as mutual funds, pension plans, savings insurance, and fixed income and equity products.
In 2017 Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar posted a consolidated profit of 80.06 million euros, 5.1% more than the previous year, assisted by a 11.5% increase in recurring net income before provisions and a 2.9% decrease in administrative expenses.
The growth of fee and commission income, up 2.2%, is attributable mainly to disintermediation fees (mutual funds, insurance policies, pension plans and consumer finance), which are up 34.27%, while fees and commissions for traditional banking products and services are down 4.17%, given the policy of removing and reducing bank charges for loyal customers.
The increase in disintermediation fees is linked to the agreement with Generali aimed at growing the insurance and pension plan business, which has resulted in a year-on-year increase of 17.1% in life insurance premiums, 28.7% in total new production in pension plans and 9.2% in other insurance premiums. In addition, the alliance with TREA Capital has boosted the growth of assets managed in mutual funds, which have increased 63%. New consumer finance has also performed well in the wake of the agreement with Cetelem.
Optimisation of the sales network, digital transformation and efficient use of funds have resulted in a drop of almost 3% in administrative expenses, which has translated into a steady decline in the ratio of operating expenses to ATAs and 11.5% growth in recurring net income before provisions.
Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar maintains its policy of prudence and in 2017 recorded additional provisions in order to make further progress in its balance sheet clean-up.
Balance sheet quality has continued to improve, thanks to the significant decline in non-performing assets, most notably the decrease of 20.2%, or 851 million euros, in NPLs and the increase of around 80%, or 665 million euros, in sales of foreclosed assets. Added to the above is a 22.8% decline in gross new foreclosed assets, resulting in a 4.3% drop in the stock of foreclosed assets over the year and pushing the coverage ratio up above 47.5%. In addition, two portfolios were sold at the end of the year, one of foreclosed properties and the other of defaulted loans. This latter sale helped reduce the NPL ratio by 2.62 percentage points, to 10.8%, the goal being to continue to reduce this ratio in 2018 so as to converge with the industry average. The non-performing asset coverage ratio, including the impact of IFRS 9, would be 46.91% approximately.
Solvency and liquidity
In 2017, Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar improved its solvency and liquidity position. It continues to have a comfortable level of wholesale funding and free access to the wholesale markets, high liquid asset generating capacity and a comfortable liquidity position, meeting the limits required by the European Banking Authority, with debt maturities covered for the next few years, free access to the markets and high volumes of securities eligible as collateral at the ECB. This provides a comfortable liquidity position, situating the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) at 214.62% and the net stable funding ratio (NSFR) at 112.30%.
Regulatory own funds are up 7% at 3,200 million and the phase-in total capital ratio at year-end is 13.37% and 13.08% on the fully loaded ratio. The phase-in CET1 ratio, which reflects the highest quality capital, is 11.19% and the fully loaded ratio, 10.90%, amply exceeding the supervisor's requirements.
In this last year Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar has opened nine new branches (six physical and three mobile) in various locations in Andalusia, Aragón, Asturias, Valencian Community and the Canary Islands. As of 31 December it has 1,057 branches and 5,586 employees, as well as the trust of 1.4 million members, and serves 3.5 million customers, of which 650,000 use its electronic and digital banking channels, such as the Wefferent app (for digital users and those who prefer to bank remotely, without fees or commissions and with a free card), which after its first year of activity already has 90,000 customers.