Raiffeisen Landesbank triples profit | News.at

RLB boss Heinrich Schaller, however, steps on the brakes on euphoria. The bank is preparing for a very difficult year 2022. He thinks the economic forecasts of growth of a good two percent and an inflation rate of five to six percent are wrong. “Unfortunately, things will get worse,” says Schaller.

The increase in net income is the sum of several positive factors. Like all other banks, the RLB also made strong gains in net interest income, but also in commission business. However, the biggest jump was in RLB’s holdings and financial investments, which increased in value by almost EUR 200 million. The two largest holdings in voestalpine and Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) are not taken into account.

“Retreat would be complex”

The bottom line at RBI is a minus of four million euros because part of the stake in RBI has been written off as a precaution. It remains to be seen whether the RBI will withdraw from Russia. But you can’t just close a bank. It’s more complex, says Schaller. It is not yet possible to say what gap RBI will tear with its involvement in Russia and Ukraine. However, the good results and the high equity ratio of the RLB would ensure that the RLB can cushion this crisis accordingly.

In contrast to 2020, voestalpine made a positive contribution to earnings again, but this was somewhat reduced by declining prices.

The Raiffeisen Group Upper Austria (ie the RLB including the Raiffeisen banks in the regions) now has a balance sheet total of almost 70 billion euros, making it number four among Austrian banks. The pre-tax profit for the entire group in 2021 was EUR 868.6 million. Deposits increased by 6.5 percent to 24.5 billion euros. This means that there is enough liquidity to cope with difficult times, says Schaller.

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The head of the RLB also criticized the deposit insurance and the European Central Bank when presenting the balance sheet. The first has to do with the fact that the Austrian banks had to help finance the bankruptcy of the Russian Sberbank in Vienna through deposit insurance, even though the bank almost exclusively had customers abroad. There must be a change here, money should not flow abroad. However, it is likely that the banks will get a larger part of the money back because there are allegedly interested parties in Sberbank’s loan portfolio.

“Surprised” about ECB

He was surprised that the European Central Bank (ECB) hadn’t thought about raising interest rates much earlier, says Schaller. The inflation rate will continue to rise in Austria and Europe. He does not want to forecast stagflation, i.e. a poisonous mixture of inflation and stagnating economy. “There is a risk, but we are still assuming slight growth,” says the RLB boss. (dm)

Raiffeisen in numbers

  • 206.9 percent: That’s how much RLB increased its pre-tax profit for the year to EUR 557.8 million. The operating result rose by 18.9 percent to 429.9 million euros.
  • 51.4 billion euros: At the end of the year, the balance sheet total exceeded the 50 billion mark for the first time.
  • 12 holdingsn fixed the RLB in the previous year via the associated companies, the largest were the repurchase of the drug company Herbasan to Austria and the Kapsch Group.
  • 6154 employees: Like the other banks, Raiffeisen is also looking for employees. A number of positions could not be filled in the previous year.
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