Swissquote says it has done better than its 2024 guidance
Thanks to strong growth dynamics on the client side, Swissquote Group said its medium-term profit targets set initially for 2024 were already reached by the end of 2021.
The preview of its full financial results shows that Switzerland’s provider of online trading services more than doubled its net profit last year thanks to the largely positive market environment.
The online bank reported its operating revenue for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2021, at 479 million Swiss francs, up nearly 50 percent from CHF 317.3 million in 2020.
The bank, based in Gland, western Switzerland, had flagged its pre-tax profit at a record CHF 223 million ($245 million) for the year. This figure was significantly higher from CHF 105.6 million it reported a year earlier. As a result, the board of directors will propose to the annual general meeting to increase the dividend by 46.7 percent, from CHF 1.50 to CHF 2.20 per share.
Swissquote said it had surpassed its initial forecasts, which were already raised in August to 465 million francs in revenue from 365 million. The bank also upgraded its pre-tax profit target to 210 million francs from initial estimates of 130 million.
“Swissquote successfully combined top profitability and organic growth with a strong Basel III capital ratio of 26.2 percent. As of the end of 2021, Swissquote exhibits a solid and well-capitalised balance sheet of CHF 9,053.8 million. Total equity increased by 39.8 percent to CHF 615.5 million (CHF 440.2 million). The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting of 6 May 2022 that the dividend be increased by 46.7 percent from CHF 1.50 to CHF 2.20 per share,” the company said in a statement.
Swissquote expands crypto offering
Fuelled by strong client and asset growth as well as a favorable market environment, the bank said trading volumes were strong in all business areas and asset classes in 2021. These results were also driven by higher organic net new money inflow of CHF 9.6 billion. Client assets also rose above CHF 55 billion.
Swissquote is looking to delve further into the digital-asset arena with the launch of its own cryptocurrency trading platform. Most recently, it has introduced a staking service for Tezos (XTZ), which enables users to earn dividends or interest on their XTZ holdings just for depositing and holding the token on the platform.
Jan De Schepper, chief sales and marketing officer at Swissquote, said earlier that he expects the crypto exchange to be run and operational before June 2022. To further sweeten the offering, Switzerland’s largest online bank plans to add stablecoins and staking services, which are currently in high demand, to the list of cryptocurrency offerings.
The new service combines Swissquote’s expertise as a provider of online trading services with digital asset security, in a bid to provide a safekeeping service for investment houses looking to gain exposure to the rapidly emerging asset class.
Swissquote’s crypto offering is going up against local players like Dukascopy which has its own cryptocurrency, allows clients to deposit and withdraw funds in digital coins, as well as enabling free internal crypto-transfers between users of mobile banking.