Credit losses dent profits at SEB

Swedish bank SEB reported a meager operating profit of 388 million kronor ($56 million) for the third quarter, but still managed to beat analysts’ expectations.

Credit losses dent profits at SEB

The result compares with 2.5 billion kronor profit for the same period last year, with credit losses accounting for most of the drop.

Analysts had forecast SEB to report profits of 273 million, according to a Reuters survey, thus putting the bank’s substantially weaker results in a somewhat more positive light.

SEB’s earnings were hammered by credit losses of 3.3 billion kronor in the third quarter, up from 716 million kronor the year before.

Core lending income dropped from 4.55 billion kronor to 4.52 billion against a forecast of 5 billion kronor, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, provisions for credit losses amounted to 3.34 billion kronor, of which the Baltic countries accounted for 2.64 billion, or 79 percent.

SEB reports, however, that it sees some signs of stabilization in the Baltic region, although developments in the Baltic countries remain a challenge.

Net credit losses came to 6 percent, the same figure reported by SEB for the previous quarter and the bank’s reserve ration in the Baltics stayed at 69 percent, writes SEB CEO Annika Falkengren in the company’s interim report.

She added that the bank would forego Swedish state banking guarantees as a result of SEB’s improved performance.

“During the year, we have established a strong financial position. In combination with emerging signs of economic stability and better functioning financial markets, we have decided not to apply for prolongation of the Swedish Funding Guarantee Programme,” Falkengren said in a statement.

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Brits in EU risk losing UK bank accounts ‘within weeks’

Some of Britain's biggest banks have begun contacting customers in European Union countries, warning them that their accounts will be closed down within weeks because the cost and complexity of operating without a continuation of pan-European banking rules is too much.

Brits in EU risk losing UK bank accounts 'within weeks'
Lloyds Bank expects to close at least 13,000 accounts. Photo: Lloyds Bank
According to a report in The Times, thousands of Britons who live in Europe face being stripped of their UK bank accounts and credit cards, because of the UK government's failure to agree rules for operating after Brexit. 
Each of the EU's 27 member states has different rules for cross-border bank accounts which will start to apply immediately the UK's transition period ends on 31st December 2020. 
“In some cases, continuing to serve customers would be incredibly complex, extremely expensive and very time-consuming, and simply would not make economic sense,” a source at one British bank told the newspaper. “This is passporting — this is the reality of Brexit.”
If a way is not found to continue pan-European banking rules, or passporting, UK banks will br breaking the law if they don't apply for new banking licenses in each European Union Country. 
Lloyds, Britain’s biggest banking group, began writing to customers in August, warning them that their bank accounts would  close down on December 31.
The bank estimates that 13,000 customers, including those based in Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal, would lose their accounts. 
“If customers have regular deposits into, or payments out of, their account, they will need to make other arrangements before their account is closed,” the bank said. 
Barclays and Coutts have also started contacting customers. 
“In light of the UK leaving the EU at the end of 2020, we continue to review the services we offer to customers within the European Economic Area (EEA), and any impacted customers will be contacted directly,” Barclays said in a statement. “The timings for account closure will depend on the type of product that a customer holds, but we will always give notice to customers.”
“In the event that no alternative to the European Economic Area passporting regime for financial services is agreed between the UK and EU, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from offering our services to clients who reside in the EEA,” Coutts said.