Chairman’s speech at the 2012 results presentation


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Chairman’s speech at the 2012 results presentation

  1. 1. Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin Presentation of Banco Santander results 31 January 2013INTRODUCTIONGood morning.Welcome to Santander Group City for the presentation of Banco Santanders2012 results.In a particularly difficult economic and regulatory environment, BancoSantander in 2012 registered attributed net profit of EUR 2.205 billion, a declineof 59% from the previous year.These profits were significantly affected by the extraordinarily high specialprovisions and writedowns carried out in Spain. These amounted to EUR 6.140billion and were only partially offset by the EUR 1.241 billion in extraordinarygains.I regard Banco Santander’s 2012 profits as very positive because they enableus to view the immediate future with optimism.There are four reasons for this:First, profit before provisions in 2012 was EUR 23.559 billion.This figure ranks our bank as third in the world in profit before provisions andshows the groups ability to generate profits once the provisions and write-downs return to normal.Second, we strengthened the balance sheet in three key areas:  provisions  increased capital  and liquidity. In particular:  In 2012, we allocated 18.800 billion euros to provisions and write-downs, 54% more than in 2011. This was due to the exceptional circumstances we are undergoing.  At the close of 2012, our core capital was 10.33%, complying with regulatory requirements with plenty of leeway.  And we have significantly strengthened our liquidity position. The Group’s ratio of loans to deposits improved from 117% to 113%. In Spain, it was 96%.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 1
  2. 2. Third, We set in motion three major transactions that strengthen our position inthree main markets:  integration of Banesto and Banif into Banco Santander  the IPO of our bank in Mexico  and the merger between our bank in Poland and Kredyt Bank.Fourth: As I announced at last years shareholders meeting, Banco Santanderis going to continue to pay its 3.3 million shareholders EUR 0.60 per shareagainst 2012 results. In its meeting on Jan. 28, Banco Santanders board ofdirectors approved the new Santander Dividendo Elección program, for EUR0.15 euros per share on the dates on which the complementary dividend is paid(from 1 May). It is, however, subject to the General Meetings ratification.  Performance of recurring profit, a reflection of the ability to generate sustained profits, and the soundness of our balance sheet, allow us to maintain shareholder remuneration at the same level as in 2011.  The market is recognising our provisions and values our ability to generate recurring profits.  Santander’s shares rose 3.9% in 2012, compared to a decrease in the Ibex index. The total return for Banco Santander shareholders was 17.3%. We are the top bank in the eurozone in market capitalisation. Santanders share is the most liquid in the Eurostoxx. In general, the markets started off strong in 2013. Santander shares have done particularly well, rising by an additional 5%. I am convinced that the market will continue to reward the banks good management as Euromoney has done, naming us the Best Bank in the World in 2012.Next, I will talk to you about:  The foundations of Banco Santanders strategy, which have enabled us to generate excellent profits in a very trying macroeconomic and financial environment.  And I will talk about the outlook for 2013.GROUNDS FOR BANCO SANTANDERS STRATEGYBanco Santander is one of the international financial institutions that has bestweathered the financial crisis.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 2
  3. 3. This is due to five fundamental principles and a strategy that has been keptconsistent over the years:  strength in the balance sheet and liquidity,  diversification and the structure of subsidiaries,  the commercial banking model,  prudent risk management  and cost efficiency.1. Strength of the balance sheet and liquidityProvisions, capital and liquidity management were the group’s priorities in2012.  Banco Santander has maintained its solid core capital, which increased from 10.02% at the close of 2011 to 10.33% by Basel II criteria. The groups strength was confirmed in the stress test analyses supervised by the European Central Bank, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and other international agencies. These tests were exceptionally rigorous and transparent and were not performed elsewhere in Europe. The stress test, carried out in the third quarter of 2012, ranked Banco Santander as the most solid institution in the country, with a capital surplus of EUR 25.297 billion in the most adverse economic scenario – well above other Spanish banks. Our goal is to always keep a large excess of core capital above regulatory requirements.  In 2012, Banco Santander set aside provisions and reserves of EUR 18.800 billion and improved coverage of non-performing loans by 11 points to 73%. I would like to make special mention of steps taken throughout the year to strengthen the balance sheet and liquidity in Spain: o We allocated EUR 6.140 billion in provisions to cover exposure to problem real estate assets. This amount exceeded the requirements of the two Spanish government royal decree laws. o We have reduced real estate exposure in Spain, net of provisions, by EUR 12.400 billion, from EUR 24.900 billion to EUR 12.500 billion. This adjustment substantially strengthened the balance sheet. We achieved it with the sale of 33,500 bank- owned properties, development projects, and loan portfolios. Exposure to the property sector in Spain, net of provisions, represented 1.7% of the group’s loan portfolio at the end of the year.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 3
  4. 4.  The improvement in liquidity during the year has also been very important. As already stated, the groups loan-to- deposit ratio improved from 117% to 113%, driven by growth in deposits. In Spain, we have a loan-to-deposit ratio of 96% after the success of the Santander and Banesto networks in securing customer deposits, which increased by EUR 22.000 billion in the year. Additionally, we issued EUR 31 billion debt in major international markets. We have also taken advantage of windows of opportunity in Spain by issuing another EUR 9.000 billion, and we have a comfortable maturity structure.2.- Diversification and subsidiary model.The second fundamental principle of Banco Santanders strategy is thegeographic distribution of its businesses. It has achieved this while maintaininga commercial banking model with critical mass in its ten core markets and abalanced distribution of profits: 45% in mature markets and 55% in emergingmarkets.Banco Santanders international structure is based on a model of subsidiariesthat are autonomous in capital and liquidity, some of them publicly listed.Our goal is for all our major subsidiaries to be listed on their markets.In 2012, we advanced with this model, which allows us a great deal ofmanagement flexibility. I would like to highlight two major transactions carriedout during the year: First, the highly successful placement of 24.9% of Santander México, for EUR 3.178 billion euros. Demand outstripped supply fivefold. Since then, Santander México shares have risen by 25%, giving the unit a current market value of US $20.000 billion. This makes this subsidiary the world’s 70th largest bank by market value.  Second, in late 2012, our Polish subsidiary Bank Zachodni WBK, and Kredyt Bank merged. Today, we are the third-largest bank in Poland by deposits, loans and number of branches. We have more than 3.5 million customers. This transaction, completed on January 4th, was clearly made possible by our subsidiary structure. The absorption of Kredyt Bank by our subsidiary in Poland took place with Zachodni shares, did not dilute group shareholders, and had no impact on capital ratios. Thus, the merger in Poland will create value for shareholders from the first year.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 4
  5. 5. I will now speak about our main markets, and the CEO will explain the profits ineach one of them in detail.BrazilBrazil is the largest contributor to the groups results, EUR 2.212 billion, or 26%of the total.After a year of lower-than-expected growth, I know that there are those of youwho are beginning to question Brazil’s potential, competitiveness and itscapacity to maintain leadership in the region.I do not agree with these doubts at all. Heres why:  Brazil has a huge domestic market, the sixth in the world, with 195 million inhabitants.  It has first-rate entrepreneurs in highly diversified sectors.  It has a sound and efficient financial system.  It has strong institutions that for years have demonstrated a commitment to the countrys economic and social stability.All of this has been reflected in very significant progress for the various layers ofBrazilian society, with an upsurge in the middle classes and the level of bankingpenetration.I am sure the government will continue to carry out reforms to consolidate thisprogress. Therefore, I completely trust in Brazil.It is and will continue to be the benchmark for Latin America. And it looksset to become one of the worlds leading economies.Santander Brazil has been adapting to this new environment with improvementsin efficiency, developing more innovative platforms and providing new servicesand products.In the medium term, this strategy will generate recurring and more diversifiedgrowth of our revenues.United KingdomAttributable profit in the UK amounted to EUR 1.175 billion, or 13% of thegroups total. It remains the third highest contributing country.Activity in the United Kingdom has continued to be affected by a difficulteconomic and regulatory environment. Santander UK is the U.K.’s mostprofitable retail bank and is becoming a leader in the British market due toCommercial innovation, Efficiency, Solidity and due to development of theuniversal banking model with a 13% share in mortgages, 9.2% in deposit, 32%gowth in remunerated current accounts and strong growth in the corporatesegment.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 5
  6. 6. As we announced in October, the agreement to acquire business bankingbranches from the Royal Bank of Scotland was cancelled because of delays inthe integration process that would not allow an assured transition in anacceptable period for customers.Therefore, we chose to grow organically. In fact, lending to SMEs increased by18% in 2012.In 2013, a year with an improved economic outlook for the United Kingdom, ourmodels competitive advantages will become apparent.MexicoMexico’s economy has performed very well in recent years, and the banksvarious businesses are capitalising on it very well.Mexico has had balanced growth of around 4% with sustained growth in lendingand deposits, with the rate of non-performing loans stable at low levels.Banco Santander, Mexicos third largest financial group by volume, completed amagnificent year in 2012 with good performance in margins, lending andprofits, that reached 1 bn euros, 12% of the group’s total. We continue to investin Mexico in business projects and are going to open 200 branches in the nexttwo years.Mexicos perspectives are very favourable, and the new government alreadyindicated its objective of undertaking major reforms to strengthen the country asa new power.SpainIn Spain, Santander group profit before provisions came to EUR 5.016 billion.Attributed profit was EUR 1.290 billion, or 15% of the total.The environment was quite difficult due to the recession and the significanttension in sovereign and bank debt markets.This had a direct effect on:  Margins, which have been under a great deal of pressure  The rate of NPLs, which increased, although still less than the sector, thus increasing the allocation of specific provisions and  Demand for credit, which caused the banks total lending to fall by 6%. Regarding this, I want to tell you that throughout the year, Banco Santander has held major campaigns to support companies. We launched special lines of credit through the export plan and the activation campaign under highly favorable conditions. However, solvent demand is still weak, affected by the deleveraging of households and companies.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 6
  7. 7. In spite of this context, Banco Santander has completed a very good year,sticking to the priorities that we had set out: First, deposits increased in Spain by EUR 22 billion and our market share grew by 2.2 points. These data reflect the confidence that Banco Santander generates.. Second, we reduced our exposure to real estate by 12.400 billion euros. For the first time since the crisis began, the volume of properties acquired in lieu of payment decreased, falling by 8% during the year. In other words, more properties left the balance sheet than were added to it. Third, the default rate remained much below that of the sector - 4.7 points below the average - and we increased coverage to 71%The CEO will give you more details about this.At the end of last year, and against the backdrop of the restructuring theSpanish financial system, we decided that Banesto and Banif will be integratedinto Banco Santander.Before the end of 2013, the groups sales networks in Spain will be completelyunified under the Santander brand, recognised by Brand Finance as the leadingbanking brand in Spain and fourth in the world.This transaction, which will be submitted to a vote at the shareholders meetingnext March, is very positive.  For the Santander groups customers in Spain, who will have more branches where they can transact and a broader product range;  For employees, as the businesss new structure in Spain and our international diversification will offer new professional opportunities.  And for Banco Santanders shareholders, because we foresee cost and revenue synergies of EUR 520 million and an increase in profit per share of 3% starting the third year. Banesto shareholders will receive a 25% premium in exchanging their shares for Santanders.I am confident that the merger of our commercial networks in Spain willstrengthen our retail, corporate and private banking business, and willconsolidate us as a leading bank in Spain. Our goal is to gain market share inloans and deposits.Before you ask me why we have decided to carry out this merger nowwhen we repeatedly said the opposite in the past, you probably knowwhat I think: Every day is a new day.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 7
  8. 8. The strategy of having two branch networks in Spain and a high-income privatebanking network separate made sense in the past, in a different economicsetting.Now, with the sectors deep restructuring resulting in fewer, larger banks, itmakes much more sense to operate with a sole brand as we are going to beable to compete better with:  A network of 4,000 branch offices  A better regional balance  The strongest brand in Spain and the fourth worldwide.Banco Santander has also been sensitive to the situation that Spain isundergoing, and it has shown its commitment to our country onnumerous occasions:This year, a particularly sensitive issue has been evictions in Spain. At BancoSantander, we are very clear on this.Eviction is the last and worst option for everyone, for our customers and also forthe bank. Proof of this is that we anticipated the problem when we launched themortgage moratorium program in the summer of 2011, which, at the close of2012, had benefited 21,000 customers.In addition, Banco Santander has actively participated in initiatives thatrepresent our commitment and support of the Spanish financial systemsstability as a whole and the Spanish economy and society. These are essentialrequirements for recovering activity and jobs.I want to highlight:  Our participation as a shareholder of the Company for the Management of Assets Coming from Bank Restructuring (Sociedad de Gestión de Activos Procedentes de la Restructuración Bancaria, SAREB).  And we are involved in the payment plan to suppliers from autonomous communities and local institutions.Also in the scope of corporate social responsibility.  We participate in the Social Housing Fund  And we decided to increase our commitment with students and SMEs for 2013 by doubling the number of grants for internships for Spanish university students to 5,000. As you know, Santander Universities is a unique alliance in the world between the bank and universities that began 15 years ago and has more than 1,000 agreements today. Last year, we dedicated EUR 135 million to this program worldwide.3. The commercial banking modelThe third element that defines Banco Santanders business strategy is ourmodel of commercial banking, our main activity. Eighty-eight per cent ofSpeech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 8
  9. 9. revenues come from commercial banking, which lends a great deal ofrecurrence to profits.Santander is a strong brand. To take another step closer to the customer andto reaffirm the banks commitment to the people who place their trust in us everyday, in 2012 the bank launched its new corporate slogan: "Santander, a bank for your ideas."With this slogan, the bank wants to convey to our customers that we make ourexperience, capacity and knowledge available to them so that they can realisetheir projects.The new slogan will accompany all our actions and initiatives with customersand will be on all communications in the countries in which we are present.I also want to tell you that in October, 2013, we will change the brand in theU.S. As has occurred with the rest of the groups banks, Sovereign will changeits name to Santander.4. Prudent risk managementPrudent and comprehensive risk management is the fourth fundamentalelement of our business model.In practically all the countries where Banco Santander operates, we maintain adefault rate below the sectors average.The discipline for staying within risk profiles that are well known and can bemanaged has been decisive during the financial crisis. We have a mid to lowappetite for risk with precise limits for credit exposures. 5. Cost efficiencyFinally, a tightly-controlled cost structure is a clear competitive advantage incommercial banking. The groups shared services generate significanteconomies of scale.Global business management is added to this to make it possible for us to havea cost-to-income ratio of 46.1%, one of the most efficient in internationalbanking.OUTLOOK FOR 2013To close, I will talk to you about our outlook for this year, which has begunvery positively in financial markets.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 9
  10. 10. Trends will generally be similar to those of 2012: o emerging economies are going to continue to grow o and Europe will still be slow in showing clear signs of recovery, at least during the first part of the year.Very important progress has been achieved in the economic and politicalarenas. The foundations for a stronger and more integrated Europe, and a moresolid and competitive Spain, are being laid.I believe that we are entering a new phase and the recovery will be morevisible in 2014. This is for two reasons:  The crisis in the eurozone is now being better managed  and there have been far-reaching reforms in Spain.The European Council of last June was fundamental for the eurozonesfuture.  The authorities acknowledged that the solution did not depend only on austerity, but also on more integration to favour economic growth. So it was decided: o to encourage European banking union with the creation of a single supervision mechanism o and to study a roadmap to complete the monetary union with an economic, fiscal, financial and political union.The expectations created in June were confirmed in the December EuropeanCouncil.The single supervision mechanism, led by the European Central Bank, willbegin to operate in March of 2014. Throughout 2013, progress will be made inthe other two basic components of the banking union: the single resolutionmechanism and the common deposit guarantee fund.This is important because:  It lays the foundation for a truly European financial system with a common regulation.  It breaks the tie between sovereign risk and bank risk, and  It is a step that reinforces the monetary unions institutional structure.In short, banking union will be a decisive advance... o for the European economy, o for its financial system... o for access to corporate and household financing and o for Spanish financial institutions that will be favoured...  by competition conditions that are homogeneous in their regulation,  better credit ratings  and access to the capital markets.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 10
  11. 11. As for supervision by the Bank of Spain, I would like to mention that aftermany years our experience at Banco Santander is that an intrusive supervisorysystem, with a large number of inspectors who are permanently at our bank,has proved to be very effective and useful.We have always obtained valuable recommendations from the Bank of Spainthat have helped us with our management.The European Central Bank, together with Mario Draghi, has also played akey and determining role in managing the crisis. First, with the three-yearliquidity auctions, and, more recently, with its commitment to intervene withoutlimits if a country requests financial aid from the European Union.I would like to tell you that last week, we returned EUR 24.000 billion of themedium-term liquidity to the European Central Bank that it made available toEuropean banks. It is liquidity insurance. We had the funds deposited at theEuropean Central Bank.I will now turn to Spain, which was the crisiss focal point during much of 2012.This has recently changed thanks to evident progress in the correction ofimbalances and reforms undertaken by the government:  The labour reform has been deep and provides more flexibility to companies and the economy as a whole.  The public deficit has been reduced a great deal on the structural side and the institutional framework is much more demanding, with better incentives for discipline in medium-term public accounts.  Bank restructuring has entered its final phase. They have faced with decisiveness the problems o linked to real estate exposure o associated with the systems overcapacity and fragmentation, o generated by insufficient transparency and poor corporate governance in part of the financial system o as well as financing problems. The reform schedule is clear, the plans are the right ones and I am fully confident that, in a few quarters, we will have a well-balanced financial system that is more solvent and more efficient: the most solid one in Europe. In this regard, I would like to highlight an OECD report from January 10th of this year that very favourably underscores the Spanish financial systems situation versus other European banks in terms of core capital levels over total assets.The private sector has also made an enormous effort:  On one hand, the cost adjustments and increase in productivity of Spanish companies during the last four years has no equal in Europe.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 11
  12. 12.  On the other hand, the improvement of external accounts, that reflect the large advance in our competitiveness and the search for new markets. The growth of exports is the best proof of this process.  There is much to do, but we have a corporate fabric and human capital with capacities to move our economy into a new phase of expansion.The conviction that the euro will not break down, together with the evidentadvances in reforms and the private sectors effort in Spain, are translating intoa clear improvement in the perception of the country abroad.The performance of the markets during these first weeks of the year confirms it:  The risk premium continues to decrease and is now at 360 basis points.  Foreigners are once again investing in Spain: they are purchasing debt, money is entering the stock exchange and they are also investing in companies and properties.This positive development should not make us lower our guard. Economicrecovery requires a continued effort from all of us. We have to continue withreforms and focus on the public debt. The financial system should...  complete its restructuring,  keep an eye on liquidity  and improve profitability.And obviously, as of now, all European countries have to meet the mainchallenge we are facing: slow growth.CONCLUSIONBanco Santander is facing the coming years from a solid position and confidentthat it has the best strategy to continue creating value for its shareholders,customers, employees and society at large in all countries where it is present.We look toward the future with optimism because although this year, 2013, willbe tough, we are confident that we are approaching a change of cycle.We are confident that we will see a change for the better.Thank you very much.Speech by Mr. Emilio Botin–Presentation of Banco Santanders 2012 profits (final) January 31, 2013 12