BCV Group delivered very solid 2017 results. Revenues were stable at CHF 967m despite the negative-interest-rate environment. Operating profit increased 1% to CHF 387m, and net profit rose 3% to CHF 320m. At the next Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose an ordinary dividend of CHF 23 per share and a special distribution of CHF 10 per share out of paid-in reserves, in accordance with the Bank’s distribution policy. In addition, the Group is extending its distribution policy for another five years, in line with the approach adopted over the last decade.
Revenues stable as interest rates remain negative
Total revenues were stable at CHF 967m. In an environment marked by continued negative interest rates, net interest income before loan impairment charges increased 3% to CHF 498m. Net interest income was flat at CHF 478m owing to new provisions for credit risk. Commission and fee income advanced 3% to CHF 316m. Net trading income, which derives mainly from client forex trading activities, remained solid at CHF 134m (−4%). Other ordinary income dropped 8% to CHF 39m.
Firm cost control; operating profit of CHF 387m
Operating expenses were stable at CHF 508m. Personnel costs (CHF 337m) and other operating expenses (CHF 171m) were both unchanged. Depreciation and amortization decreased 3% to CHF 70m. Driven by continuing firm cost control, operating profit edged up 1% to CHF 387m, attesting to the Group’s earnings stability.
Net profit up 3% to CHF 320m
Extraordinary income came in at CHF 17m, up CHF 10m on the 2016 figure. This increase is due mainly to a non-core real-estate disposal, which will also positively impact the Bank’s results in 2018, by CHF 27m. Net profit was up 3% to CHF 320m.
Balance sheet expands 3%
Total assets expanded 3% to CHF 45.4bn. Cash and cash equivalents, which mainly comprise SNB deposits, totaled CHF 8.0bn (+7%). Mortgage lending rose 1.5%, or CHF 370m, to CHF 25.4bn. Other loans remained stable at CHF 4.8bn.
On the liabilities side, customer deposits grew further, rising 4%, or CHF 1.3bn, to CHF 30.5bn.
Continued new fund inflows
The Group's assets under management expanded 1% to CHF 86.5bn. Without the CHF 5.3bn outflow relating to the Swisscanto fund transfer, AuM grew by CHF 6.4bn. Net new money totaled CHF 2.3bn.
Solid financial position
The Bank’s CET1 capital ratio stood at 17.1% and shareholders’ equity amounted to CHF 3.5bn at end-2017, attesting to BCV's financial solidity. Standard & Poor's and Moody's reaffirmed their respective AA and Aa2 ratings for BCV, both with a stable outlook.
Proposed CHF 284m payout
At the next Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose an ordinary dividend of CHF 23 per share and a special distribution of CHF 10 per share out of paid-in reserves, in accordance with the Bank’s distribution policy. If these proposals are approved, BCV will return CHF 284m to its shareholders; the Canton of Vaud will receive CHF 190m in distributions together with CHF 56m in cantonal and municipal taxes for 2017, for a total of CHF 246m.
Distribution policy extendedfor five years
In line with the approach adopted over the last decade, the Group has extended its distribution policy for another five years beginning with the 2018 reporting period. In light of the planned reduction in Vaud Canton’s corporate tax rates, the Bank intends to pay an ordinary dividend of CHF 34–38, barring significant changes in the economic or regulatory environment or in the Bank’s situation.
Changes in the Executive Board and Board of Directors
New Chairman of the Board of Directors
The Vaud Cantonal Government appointed Jacques de Watteville as the new Chairman of BCV’s Board of Directors. He took up his position on 1 January 2018, succeeding Olivier Steimer, the Bank’s Chairman from 2002 to 2017. Mr. de Watteville served as State Secretary for International Financial Matters in the Federal Department of Finance from 2013 to 2016 and as Switzerland’s chief negotiator with the European Union from 2015 to 2017.
New head of the Corporate Banking Division
BCV’s Board of Directors appointed Andreas Diemant to the Bank’s Executive Board as head of the Corporate Banking Division. Mr. Diemant, who worked at UBS as head of the Swiss institutional clients unit and member of the management board for corporate and institutional clients from 2012 to 2017, joined BCV on 1 September 2017. He replaced Jean-François Schwarz, who had been in charge of corporate banking at BCV since 2003 and who retired in 2017.
Barring a significant deterioration in the financial markets and/or the overall economic situation, FY 2018 results are expected to trend along the same lines as in prior years.
Lausanne, Switzerland, 15 February 2018
27 March Publication of the 2017 Annual Report (on www.bcv.ch)
26 April Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in Lausanne
30 April Ex-dividend date
2 May Dividend record date
3 May Dividend payment
23 August Half-year 2018 results
Christian Jacot-Descombes, Press Officer
Tel.: +41 79 816 99 30
Gregory Duong, Investor Relations
Tel.: +41 21 212 20 71
Note to editors:
This press release is being issued outside the trading hours of the SIX Swiss Exchange in order to comply with the principles of ad hoc disclosure pursuant to the SIX listing rules.
The above text is a translation of the original French document; only the French text is authoritative.