French banks are showing brilliant health in 2021. And Crédit Mutuel Arkéa is no exception to the rule.
The mutualist group, which brings together the Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne and Sud-Ouest federations and their member local banks, benefited from the economic rebound in the first half of the year, with record net income of 277 million euros. That is an increase of 11.1% compared to the same period in 2020, which “benefited in particular from non-recurring impacts”, specifies the group in a press release published this Thursday evening.
But this result is also 13.4% higher than that achieved in the first half of 2019, in a “pre-Covid” world. “By presenting very well-crafted financial indicators, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa reinforces the relevance of its strategic choices and the resilience of an original development model,” the group immediately commented.
The new president of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Julien Carmona, in office since June, in fact defends, like his predecessor Jean-Pierre Denis, the group’s independence project, which wishes to emancipate itself from the Crédit Mutuel galaxy.
The Breton bank is benefiting from the upturn in activity. Net banking income jumped 11.6% over one year to reach 1.22 billion euros. Retail banking is driving revenue up.
The production of loans is notably up sharply (+ 8.6% excluding loans guaranteed by the State). The insurance business is also doing well, supported by the good performance of life insurance. Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, with the help of its Fortuneo and Keytrade brands, is also gaining new customers (+85,000 over the half-year) and now has nearly 5 million.
The group based in Finistère also continues to benefit from its diversification policy and in particular from its activity of providing services to third parties. Arkéa provides white label IT services for other groups, such as Axa Banque, Allianz Banque, Delubac and Qonto.
He was recently entrusted with the IT management of HSBC France’s retail bank, which My Money Bank has just bought. The BtoB and specialized services division contributes 16% to the bank’s revenues.
Lower cost of risk
The results of this first half were also supported by a decrease in the cost of risk of 37.6% compared to last year. “This change in the cost of risk in the context of the health crisis reflects the good quality of the credit portfolio, as well as still very limited exposure to sectors considered vulnerable”, comments the group.
The violence of the Covid crisis has not yet materialized by a wave of bankruptcies – and therefore unpaid bills – in France, nor by a rebound in unemployment, in particular thanks to the support of public policies and central banks. Many banks have therefore revised downward the amount of their financial provisions.
The group did not give details on its investment strategy in fintech. After increasing the number of acquisitions and financial holdings, he recently launched a review of his portfolio. The Leetchi online kitty and the payment company Mangopay have reportedly been put up for sale.