Comments by Reijo Karhinen, President and Group Executive Chairman
OP Financial Group posted an excellent first-half financial performance. Our strategic goal is to strengthen our capital base through good financial results. We did well in that respect. Our strong financial position was also witnessed by the results of the stress test conducted by the European Banking Authority. We rank among the strongest banks in Europe.
The favourable development in overall profitability was supported by an increase in net interest income and net insurance income, successful cost control and low loan losses. However, capital market uncertainty reduced income generation.
The stress test results prove that we will withstand instability. Enabled by our strong capital base, we have for several years now reported vigorous growth in customer lending despite the unstable operating environment. In the first half of 2016, the growth rate of our home loans and corporate financing was again above the market average. This development was supported by an exceptionally brisk growth in the number of owner-customers and banking customers.
The #Suominousuun (Putting Finland on a new growth path) initiatives with a broad impact that we have implemented in our social role represent concrete actions and true examples of our strength. At the same time, they show our will to commit ourselves to the success of our operating region and the promotion of our customers' prosperity.
The successful first-half was crowned by our forward-looking strategy published in June. We will have a long and profound transformation process ahead of us from a plain financial services provider to a diversified services company. Our basic assumption is that the actors with the courage to genuinely and boldly reinvent themselves by listening to their customers will be winners.
Like OP Financial Group, the whole of Finland is in the face of a new beginning. With an open-minded approach, we will need to build something completely new on the strong foundation. Meanwhile, it is necessary to have the courage to leave behind many patterns that have been adopted in a Finland that no longer exists. Norms in society and the structures of various actors must be updated swiftly so as to respond to changes arising from profound digital transformation and consumer behaviour while being sustainable for future generations. We have the world's best society in place. I believe that new unconventional initiatives and a forward-looking approach will form the key to success for Finland's journey into the next 100 years.
Fore the press release and the complete report, click HERE.