K&H Reports Strong Year’s Growth
With record profits and some innovations unique to the Hungarian market, K&H Bank ended a last year with a strong financial performance, the CEO said in announcing the group’s figures for 2018.
The banking group realized HUF 57.8 billion net profit in 2018, up from HUF 41.8 bln in 2017: a 38% increase, year-on-year. Excluding exceptional gains from property and financial instruments transactions, K&H recorded a HUF 53.6 bln net profit, a 28% increase y.o.y. There was no slowdown in the fourth quarter either.
“We would qualify 2018 as a strong financial performance,” David Moucheron, CEO of K&H Group told reporters.
The bank managed to grow both deposits and loans, with the latter growing faster (7%) than deposits (4%). As a result, K&H’s loan-to-deposit ratio has improved, which is a good thing considering that it has been very low in the entire market, Moucheron said.
Another positive the CEO highlighted is the development of the lending market: by December, the proportion of fixed-interest mortgages had reached 91%, which is almost double the figure it was during the same period last year.
Moving on to digitalization and transformation, Moucheron noted the K&H is market leader in taking cash in through its ATMs.
“With more than 200 ‘cash in’ ATMs, our network is the largest in Hungary. The ATMs have proved a success; by the end of 2018, 59% of deposits were paid through these machines.” In addition, the bank is rolling out cash-free branches: 20% of the network (40 branches) now operate this way.
Another innovation where K&H is leading the pack in Hungary is introducing paperless processes in branches, whereby clients can sign documents electronically, Moucheron said.
“We have more than 174,000 clients with a biometric profile; on average they sign 60% of all their documents electronically,” he said.
The bank recently launched a fully digital cash flow imbursement system where a client can find out within 30 minutes not only whether they can get a loan, but also the money itself in the case of a positive decision. The system is also open to non-clients, which is unique in Hungary, the CEO noted.
K&H continues to contribute not just to the economy, but also to the transition to the green economy. Last year the bank granted HUF 380 bln in new loans, of which HUF 250 bln went directly to business clients.
“Not only was that money made available to our clients , we also insured it was easier and faster for them to get it by creating a more efficient process,” Moucheron said. Clients were given a response within two days in 40% of applications, he added.
In 2018, K&H Insurance also saw strong growth; with a HUF 4.5 bln net profit, it registered a 57% increase, y.o.y.
“We see an increase both in the total number of clients, reaching almost 700,000, and the ratio of clients who regularly transfer their income grew by than 7% in absolute terms.” Some 4,000 businesses joined the bank in 2018, including SMEs and large corporations, he added.
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