The principal factors that influenced the Bank’s 2018 financial results included:
The Bank’s interest income decreased by 2.4% in 2018 to RUB 46.0 bn, compared to RUB 47.2 bn in 2017. Customer lending contributed to 70.2% of the total interest income: interest income from loans and advances to customers amounted to RUB 32.3 bn. Interest income from other operations, principally from securities, increased by 16.4%, amounting to RUB 13.7 bn in 2017, compared to RUB 11.8 bn in 2017. Overall, this interest income component still comprises an insignificant amount of 29.8%.
Interest expense decreased by 14.0%, amounting to RUB 22.9 bn in 2018, compared to RUB 26.6 bn in 2017. Interest expense on retail term deposits decreased by 2.3% and amounted to RUB 8.5 bn (32.5% of total interest expenses). Interest expenses on corporate term deposits decreased by 16.0% and amounted to RUB 4.7 bn (20.4% of total interest expenses). Interest expenses on due to banks amounted to RUB 8.4 bn (36.6% of total interest expenses).
Net interest income increased by 11.4% to RUB 21.9 bn, compared to RUB 19.7 bn in 2017. The main factor behind the NII increase is the reduction in interest rates on liabilities side, which for banks translates into interest margin widening.
The Bank’s fee and commission income increased by 10.9% in 2018, reaching RUB 7.3 bn, compared to RUB 6.6 bn in 2017. Plastic cards settlements (41.5% of total fee and commission income) gained 13.5%, amounting to RUB 3.0 bn. Cash and settlement operation fees (41.9% of the total fee and commission income) increased by 14.3% to RUB 3.1 bn compared to 2017. Fees for issuing guarantees and letters of credit (10.9% of the total fee and commission income) went down by 7.9% and stood at RUB 0.8 bn.
Fee and commission expense increased by 5.5% in 2018 to RUB 1.5 bn, compared to RUB 1.4 bn in 2017. The aggregate amount for commissions on plastic cards settlements, securities and settlement transactions amounted to RUB 1.3 bn, or 90.3% of the total fee and commission expenses.
In 2018, the net fee and commission income increased by 12.3% to RUB 5.9 bn (RUB 5.2 bn for 2017).
In 2018, net trading income reached RUB 4.0 bn (RUB 6.2 bn in 2017). Gains from operations with foreign currencies and derivatives amounted to RUB 5.9 bn, while losses from operations with securities amounted to RUB 1.9 bn. Results from operations in financial markets were driven by the competent management of the securities portfolio in conditions of declining yields and the use of opportunities for arbitrage in a volatile market.
From 2007 onwards, Bank Saint Petersburg has been among the leaders in the most important segments of the Russian financial market and an active trader on foreign stock exchanges. The Bank is systematically included in the activity ratings of the MOEX currency derivatives market and the MOEX futures and options market. The Bank's currency futures trading volume currently represents a sizeable share of the total trading volume of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Bank is also a major participant in the REPO market and a partner of leading domestic and international financial institutions. The Bank contributes to the interest rate indicators calculated by the National Securities Market Association and is a market maker for interest-bearing instruments of the Moscow Exchange.
The Bank’s operating expenses grew by 5.5% to RUB 13.0 bn compared to 2017. The Bank's continued focus on maintaining high operating efficiency is proved by the cost/income ratio, which for FY 2018 amounted to 39.8% (38.5% in 2017).
Staff costs is a major component of the Bank’s operating expenses, comprising 45.5% of all costs. Staff costs fell by 0.5% and amounted to RUB 5.9 bn.
The Bank’s expenses related to premises and equipment amounted to RUB 2.1 bn in 2018, a 10.0% increase compared to 2017.
The Bank’s other operating expenses include rental payments, administrative costs, professional services, security, transportation, delivery and other expenses. In 2018, these expenses increased by 11.6% to RUB 5.0 bn.
The core banking margin remains at a historically high level.
Net income increased by 21% and reached the all-time best RUB 9.0 billion for FY 2018. The Bank’s return on equity (ROAE) amounted to 12.3% for FY 2018 (11.4% for FY 2017).