In 2016, the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken Cooperative Financial Network generated a profit before taxes calculated in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) of €8.3 billion. The Cooperative Financial Network’s annual consolidated financial statements include all 972 cooperative banks in Germany, along with DZ BANK and the specialized service providers in the Cooperative Financial Network, such as Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall, Union Investment, and R+V Versicherung. The strong growth of the customer business had a significant influence on profit before taxes but was able to only partly offset the decline in interest income. Although this meant that the Cooperative Financial Network was unable to match the exceptionally good profit before taxes of €9.8 billion reported for 2015, it can look back on another successful financial year, remaining one of the most profitable banking groups in Europe.
The Cooperative Financial Network is successful in the market, enjoys high customer approval, has a healthy balance sheet with strong capital adequacy, and has the resources to bear the risks arising from the low-interest-rate environment even over the longer term. The Cooperative Financial Network is helping to shape the future with large-scale projects in the areas of sales and digitalization. It is accompanying its customers as they enter the world of digital banking while retaining personal contact and high-quality advice as core elements of its cooperative business model.
The strength of the customer business was reflected in the 2.8 percent rise in net fee and commission income to €6.0 billion. Net interest income, which was affected by the ongoing period of low interest rates, amounted to €18.8 billion, compared with €20.0 billion in 2015. Last year, the Cooperative Financial Network was able to use its own resources to achieve a further substantial increase in its equity to €98.6 billion.
In 2016, the Cooperative Financial Network’s net profit after taxes came to €5.9 billion (2015: €7.0 billion). There was steady growth in the Cooperative Financial Network’s total assets, which were up by 4.6 percent to more than €1.2 trillion. In absolute terms, the customer lending business was the biggest driver of the increase in the assets on the consolidated balance sheet. Demand for long-term consumer home finance remained high in 2016. Loans to customers rose by a total of 4.6 percent to €733.2 billion in the reporting year. The increase in lending to corporate customers (loans to nonfinancial companies and self-employed people) by the local cooperative banks was mainly attributable to lending to service providers. The Cooperative Financial Network’s deposits from customers were up by 4.7 percent to €774.3 billion, ensuring that the funding structure remains robust.