Press release

CaixaBank posts attributed profit of €152 million and boosts retail customer funds by €5,376 million

CaixaBank posts attributed profit of €152 million and boosts retail customer funds by €5,376 million

- Pre-impairment income grew 22.5% on the back of 4.3% increase in gross margin and 7.8% reduction in non-recurring expenses due to optimization of the Group's structure, cost streamlining and synergies.

- The NPL ratio was down for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2006, falling 30bp to 11.36%; the drop in non-performing loans intensified, with a reduction of €1,352 million.

• Strong recurring income generation allowed for gross income of €1,769 million (+4,3%) due to the trend in net interest income (€993 million), fees and commissions (€454 million) and gains on financial assets (€221 millones).

• Retail customer funds reached €264,620 million, reflecting an increase of €5,376 million or 2.1%. Off-balance sheet funds (mutual funds, pension plans and others) grew by €2,465 million, up 4.4%. CaixaBank maintained its leadership position in the main financing products despite the reduction in its loan portfolio, which shrank by 2.8% as a result of reduced exposure to the real estate developer sector (-7.1%) and the sector-wide deleveraging process.

• Outstanding liquidity position of €65,003 million (up €4,241 million in the quarter), with a substantial reduction in dependency on the ECB; the balance drawn on the facility fell to €9,000 million. The loan to deposit ratio improved 5 percentage points to 105%.

• The Basel III CET1 capital ratio stood at 12.4%, up 12.1% on a fully loaded basis. Capital generation over the quarter stood at 38 basis points in CET1.

• The coverage ratio for NPLs stood at 61%, whilst coverage for foreclosed real estate assets was 53.4%. Properties rented or sold amounted to €630 million, up 71.1% year on year.

• Total write-downs were €650 million, down 66.7% compared with 1Q13, when €902 million was registered in accordance with Royal Decree Law 18/2012.

CaixaBank posted attributable net profit of €152 million for the first quarter of 2014, down 54.6% compared with 1Q13, when it generated a profit of €335 million due to the impact of non-recurring items under various financial statement headings.

Profit for the first quarter of 2014 was supported by strong recurring revenue generation, a drop in operating expenses thanks to synergies and ongoing efforts in write-downs and allowances on the back of a more cautious stance in terms of risk management and coverage.

CaixaBank's Chairman, Isidro Fainé, and the company's CEO, Juan María Nin, said: "The bank is on track to complete its 2011-2014 Strategic Plan, enhance profitability and efficiency and maintain its leadership position in the Spanish market".

Retail customer funds grew by €5,376 million in the first quarter (+2.1%)

CaixaBank continues to lead the Spanish market with 13.6 million clients, 5,716 branches and total assets of €331,376 million. The latest data shows that market share customer penetration stands at 27.4%, and for 22.7% of customers, CaixaBank is their preferred bank.

Commercially, the Group continues to focus its efforts on attracting and forging links with clients, as evidenced by the payroll deposit (22.1%) and pension deposit (20%) market shares, up 164 and 46 basis points respectively over the last year, with 214,091 payroll deposits secured in the first quarter.

Total funds reached €309,233 million, up €5,629 million, (+1.9%) over the quarter. Retail customer funds totaled €264,620 million, up €5,376 million, (+2.1%), with a diversified range of products adapted to the different customer segments. Off-balance sheet customer funds registered substantial growth of 4.4%. InverCaixa has consolidated its position as the top mutual fund manager by number of unit holders, with 781,134, and its assets under management in funds, portfolios and sicavs stand at €29,700 million, up 6.3%.Its intense commercial activity has underpinned its leadership position in the main retail banking products and services in the Spanish market.

The bank has granted €80,990 million in loans over the last 12 months

CaixaBank continues to lead the sector by market shares in the main financing products: total business and household loans (15.0%), mortgages (15.9%) and factoring and reverse factoring (17.6%), evidence of the company's firm commitment to backing its clients' projects and reinforcing the country's productive system. In the last 12 months, the bank has granted loans worth €80,990 million, through over 1.45 million new aggregated Group transactions.

Various corporate financing agreements were also signed in the first quarter of the year, giving rise to new credit lines worth over €8,500 million. This quarter also witnessed the launch of CaixaNegocios, a new commercial strategy designed to strengthen ties with the commercial sector, professionals, self-employed professionals and micro-enterprises; 2,600 employees have received specialist training and loans worth €2,000 million have been pre-approved, with a total of 98,046 new business clients secured.

The economic cycle and broad-based sector-wide deleveraging brought about a 2.8% drop in gross customer loans to €201,357 million; this figure was particularly impacted, among other things, by deleveraging in the real estate developer sector (-7.1%), with a decline of 7,914 million in one year.

Loans to individual customersfell 1.6% due to household deleveraging. The company's market share in lending to individuals remained stable at 15%.

As shown by the chart below, CaixaBank's portfolio is highly diversified, with 75% dedicated to retail lending (individuals and SMEs).

Gross income grows 4.3% year on year

Thanks to the robust retail banking business and the management of balance sheet assets and liabilities, gross income stood at €1,769 million, up 4.3% year on year and 30.4% quarter on quarter.

In a macro environment of very low interest rates, net interest income stood at €993 million, up 0.1%.

The positive trend in prices in retail activity and the ongoing deleveraging of both the loan portfolio and the fixed income portfolio impacted net interest income in 1Q14. The favorable trend in customer spread that began in the second half of 2013 continued, with a 9bp increase over the quarter to 1.83%, reflecting the active management of the return on retail activity.

Pre-impairment income rose to €829 million (+22.5% excluding non-recurring expenses in 2013), with a substantial 7.8% reduction in recurring expenses thanks to the optimization of the Group's structure and cost streamlining.

The optimization of the branch network, restructuring of CaixaBank's employees and integration of Banca Cívica and Banco de Valencia's IT platforms all led to enhanced efficiency, guaranteeing that the cost synergies offered by the integration of Banca Cívica and Banco de Valencia were effectively harnessed.

In the first quarter of 2014 cost savings worth €152 million were generated through synergies, out of total synergies forecast for 2014 of €654 million.

Volume of write-downs fell due to impact of non-recurring items in 2013

• Impairment losses on financial assets and others stood at €650 million, down 66.7% year on year. In 1Q13, this included provisions of €902 million to fully comply with the requirements of the Royal Decree Law 18/2012.

• Net fees and commissions grew 1.8% to €454 million on the back of intense commercial activity based on targeted products for different business segments. Banking services fees fell 6.9%vs. 1Q13.

• Income from equity investments amounted to €150 million. The quarter-on-quarter trend was marked by the seasonality of investee results and by the impact on Repsol in 4Q13 of the compensation agreement related to the nationalization of 51% of YPF.

• Gains on financial assets totaled €221 million thanks to the capital gains recognized in the first quarter of 2014, corresponding to the sale of entire stake in Bolsas y Mercados Españoles and the disposal of available-for-sale fixed income assets.

• Gains/(losses) on disposal of assets and others includes sales of foreclosed assets and write-downs to shore up coverage for these assets. In the first quarter of 2013, this included the impact of the negative goodwill generated through the Banco de Valencia acquisition.

NPL ratio fell for the first time since 2006 (-30 basis points)

The NPL ratio fell this quarter for the first time since 4Q06. It dropped 30 basis points to 11.36%, lower than the sector average, which was 13.42% in February, with a coverage ratio of 61%.

This reduction was largely attributable to the significant reduction in NPLs (-62 basis points), which offset the impact of deleveraging (+32 basis points). The individual customer NPL ratio fell substantially in the quarter, dropping 12bp to 5.40%.

The downward trend in NPLs intensified in 1Q14, with a €1,352 million reduction to a total of €24,013 million.

The commercial activity of Building Center, CaixaBank's real estate subsidiary, enabled the sale or rental of real estate assets worth €630 million in the first quarter, up 71.1% year on year. Total properties sold or rented therefore stands at 6,302 units. Sales and rentals of on-balance sheets assets, including real estate developer assets and taking into account the value of the original investment, stand at €1,317 million, with 8,529 buildings sold.

The net carrying amount of foreclosed real estate assets available for sale stood at €6,412 million, with a coverage ratio of 53.4%. In the first quarter, gross loans to the real estate developer sector were cut by €1,411 million (-7.1%).

Balance sheet liquidity over three times higher than amount drawn on the ECB facility

Liquidity stands at €65,003 million, accounting for 19.6% of total assets, with an increase of €4,241 million over the first quarter.

This comfortable liquidity position has allowed the company to repay €25,084 million in ECB financing since the beginning of 2013.On March 31, 2014, balance sheet liquidity (€32,237 million) was over three times higher than the amount drawn on the ECB facility (€9,000 million).

CaixaBank placed €1,000 million in mortgage-covered bonds in 1Q14, generating demand of over €2,600 million. The success of this issuance was reflected in the issue cost, which was 80 basis points over the mid swap rate (the benchmark for these transactions), meaning the company was able to finance itself 67bp below the rate paid by the Spanish Treasury over the same period.

CaixaBank also consolidated its improved financing structure, as demonstrated by the loan to deposit ratio, which fell 5 percentage points to 105%.

Strong Basel III capital ratio of 12.4%, and 12.1% on a fully-loaded basis

On March 31, 2014, CaixaBank's Basel III Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio stood at 12.4%, in line with the progressive implementation for this year. Capital generation for the quarter reached 38 basis points in CET1. Total eligible equity (Tier Total) was 15.2%, up 45 basis points vs. December 2013.

On a fully-loaded basis, CaixaBank has a Basel III Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 12.1%, exceeding the fully-loaded minimum regulatory limit of 7% by €7,440 million.

"la Caixa" welfare projects: social responsibility is a top priority for the group

The Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, "la Caixa", CaixaBank's controlling shareholder, maintainsits Social Projects budget for 2014 at 500 million euros, the same amount that it has contributed for the last 7 years. Once again, this positions the "la Caixa" Foundation as Spain's top private foundation and one of the largest in the world.

For another year, given the current situation in the country, the bulk of the investment (67%, or €334.9 million) will be allocated to the development of social and aid programs. Science, research and environment programs will account for 13.2% (€66.1 million); the culture area will receive 12.9% of the investment (€64.3 million) and education and training will account for 6.9% (€34.7 million).

The "la Caixa" Foundation's strategic lines of action continue to include creating job opportunities, fighting social exclusion, ensuring access to acceptable housing for individuals and families with difficulties and promoting an active, healthy aging process. These priorities have now given rise to significant investment figures following the implementation of this commitment in the first quarter of 2014.

With respect to job creation, the Incorpora program contributed to the employment of 3,090 people at 787 companies between January and March. Since 2006, 70,861 positions have been created at over 27,500 organizations.

CaixaProinfancia, a program designed to break the cycle of poverty in families with limited resources, provided aid for 31,489 boys and girls in situations of social exclusion in the first quarter of the year. The Fundación de la Esperanza, through which direct social action is undertaken in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, has provided assistance for 770 people from 256 families.

The various programs dedicated to helping people access social housing now comprise over 23,000 apartments with prices substantially lower than the market average, available through various different rental formats (the affordable, solidarity and social housing programs).

Over 172,000 senior citizens have taken part in initiatives offered at 605 centers across Spain through the "la Caixa" active aging program. The "la Caixa" Foundation has also dedicated major efforts in the first quarter of the year to helping sufferers in the advanced stages of diseases and their families (3,591 patients were offered support for a peaceful, dignified death this quarter); social and professional reintegration of prisoners nearing the end of their sentences; support for victims of domestic violence; support and promotion of volunteer work (5,700 "la Caixa" employees now participate in voluntary social initiatives); and promotion of social cohesion in areas of significant cultural diversity.

True to its values of support and cooperation, the "la Caixa" Foundation signed three new alliances in the first quarter of the year, with the Spanish Red Cross (Cruz Roja), to support groups at risk of social exclusion, and with the Madrid Planetarium and the Telefónica Foundation, to join forces in raising awareness of science and astronomy.

In the field of education, eduCaixa has demonstrated the company's firm support for the education of students aged 3 to 18, and for the work of teachers and of parents' associations. Almost 495,000 students from 3,082 schools participated in the educational initiatives provided by the "la Caixa" Foundation in the first quarter of the year.

In the field of research, the Foundation has continued to foster advances in knowledge at the university level; the RecerCaixa program provided support for 26 projects with a total investment of €1.8 million. It has also continued to support research into AIDS (irsiCaixa), cancer (the "la Caixa" Molecular Therapy Unit at the Hospital Vall d'Hebron), endoscopic gastrointestinal surgery (Centro Wider), neurodegenerative diseases (in cooperation with CSIC and in the framework of the BarcelonaBeta Project) and cardiovascular diseases (CNIC), among others.

Promoting culture as a tool for personal growth is another of the Foundation's main lines of action. "la Caixa" is currently offering exhibitions at its CaixaForum cultural centers such as Génesis. Photographs by Sebastiao Salgado and Pixar. 25 years of animation (Madrid); Mediterráneo. From Myth to Reason and Le Corbusier (Barcelona); and Egyptian mummies (Palma), to name a few. Another event in the cultural area was the presentation of the Plataforma/"la Caixa" Literary Award; the second edition of this award for young people was presented to Galicia's Andrea Tomé for her story Corazón de mariposa (Butterfly heart).