In 2017, the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken Cooperative Financial Network generated a healthy consolidated profit before taxes of €8.9 billion, a rise of 7.3 percent. At the same time, it significantly increased its equity to €104.4 billion. The Cooperative Financial Network is thus well equipped to cope with possible threats to global economic growth.
The consolidated financial statements of the Cooperative Financial Network provide information on the financial year of the 915 local cooperative banks, Sparda banks, PSD banks, and other cooperative specialized institutions as well as DZ BANK and the main product specialists, i.e. the mortgage banks, Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall, R+V Versicherung, Union Investment, VR Leasing (in the future: VR Smart Finanz), TeamBank, and DZ PRIVATBANK. The Cooperative Financial Network’s loans and advances to customers rose by 3.9 percent to €762 billion. There was a similar increase of 3.5 percent in deposits from customers, which reached €801 billion. Growth in lending to retail customers was driven by private home loans; the main growth factor in corporate customer business was lending to the service and construction industries.
The strong growth of the customer business played a key part in boosting profits, even though the interest- rate environment remains challenging. In 2017, the Cooperative Financial Network’s net interest income came to €18.6 billion, which was almost at the prior-year level of €18.8 billion. Net fee and commission income climbed by a substantial 8.9 percent to just under €6.5 billion. Customers were evidently responding to the low level of interest rates and increasingly opting to invest in securities and funds.
After taxes, the Cooperative Financial Network posted a consolidated net profit of €6.1 billion, which was 3.0 percent more than in 2016. There was a small rise in consolidated total assets, which grew by €27.5 billion to €1.24 trillion.
The Cooperative Financial Network’s equity broke through the €100 billion threshold for the first time, advancing by 6.0 percent to €104.4 billion as at December 31, 2017. The primary institutions held around 87 percent of this total. As in previous years, the increase was largely due to the retention of profits generated in a challenging market environment. In addition, the cooperative banks have issued new shares to cooperative members totaling almost half a billion euros (€0.46 billion), a further rise of 4.0 percent.