Carić placed special emphasis on the fact that years of successful operation also enabled the taking of an important decision regarding a large investment in the new IT system and all-encompassing transformation of the bank. “In order for our customers to be able to benefit to an even greater extent from all the advantages of digitization and personalized approach, we have initiated large investments in a modern and flexible operating system, a cutting-edge technology in the area of global banking software” emphasized Carić.
At the end of Q4 2017, total loans to individuals and micro customers went up by 34.9% relative to the end of previous year to 50.8 billion dinars. In comparison with the end of 2016, total deposits of individuals and micro customers also increased, by 10.9% to 56.5 billion dinars.
At the end of Q4 2017, total corporate loans amounted to 56.6 billion dinars, which is a 4.6% decrease relative to the end of 2016, of which the effect of the exchange rate decline is 3.7%, so the real decrease is 1.0%. On the other hand, corporate deposits went up by 52.8% relative to the end of 2016 to 36.5 billion dinars at the end of Q4 2017.
Regarding operating results, in Q4 2017 the Bank posted 6.9% more operating income relative to the same period of last year, while operating expenses went up by 9.4%. Relative to the same period of 2016, the Bank's operating profit was 1.7% higher and amounted to 2,572 million dinars, while at the end of Q4 2016 the Bank recorded an operating result of 2,529 million dinars.
During Q4 2017, net interest income amounted to 6,218 million dinars, which is 6.8% more than in the previous year, when it was 5,822 million dinars. Net fee and commission income was 2.1% higher and amounted to 1,488 million dinars.
After Q4 2017 total net profit amounted to 2.632 million dinars, which is as much as 27.5% better result than in the same period of 2016, when net profit reached 2,064 million dinars. In addition to the increase in volume, the main reasons for the increased result is a higher-quality portfolio reflected in NPL reduction from 6.7% at the end of 2016 to 3.2% at the end of 2017. The reduction was mostly a result of writing off receivables fully provisioned in line with a decision of the National Bank of Serbia. A positive net profit was also realized from the impairment of financial assets and credit risk-weighted off-balance sheet items up to the end of fourth quarter of 2017.
At the end of Q4 2017 the number of digital distribution channel users was 11.5% higher than in December 2016, so now more than 235 thousand Erste Bank clients use internet and mobile banking. Erste Banka continued with the expansion of its network, which at the end of December 2017 had 85 units, while the total number of active clients was 391 thousand in December.