The fact that now, banks must assume Stamp Duty subjects margins to further pressure, the effects of which will be seen in full force in the coming years.
However, despite the legal ups and downs that preceded the Government's decision to rule in favour of customers, mortgage production figures were very strong for Bankinter in 2018: the amount loaned grew by 18% in Individual Retail Banking and 17% in Foreigners. These figures are very high compared to other years and the growth of the real-estate market, although the latter is very high.
In terms of mortgages, fixed and mixed rate mortgages continue to gain strength, in particular amongst Foreigners, now representing 47% of the total, although the Individual Retail Banking division is not far behind: (39%).
The figures for personal loans were also spectacular, with the outstanding balance growing by 18% in Individual Retail Banking thanks to activity growth and campaigns undertaken by the bank in terms of consumer finance. In total, this business segment granted personal loans worth €254 million in 2018, 41% higher than in 2017.
When it comes to customer funds, the Payroll Account was once again the main engine for acquiring customer deposits, as a result of its advantageous conditions: balance remuneration of 5% up to €5,000 in the first year and 2% in the second year, with no maintenance fee. This account, which involves direct debiting of bill payments and the use of credit cards, registered a 10% increase in uptake year-on-year, demonstrating its potential. It is the most competitive on the market based on its characteristics.
The challenges for 2019 include: placing a greater emphasis on mortgage production and attracting young customers, strengthening the digital relationship and omnichannel banking, keeping the focus on consumption and liquidity management and improving the customer retention rate.
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