Banca March remains the most solvent bank in Spain with a CET1 of 18.54% and earns 66% more, up to €116 million
09 March 2022 Category: Banca March
- The bank boasts the highest CET1 capital adequacy ratio (18.54%) in the Spanish banking industry and its LCR (217.74%), DTL (153.35%) and NPL coverage (58,19%) ratios are among the strongest in the sector.
- Banca March continues to have the lowest NPL ratio in the Spanish financial sector, even without having resorted to discounted NPL portfolio sales: 1.90% at year end 2021 compared with a sector average of 4.29%, according to the latest data from the Bank of Spain.
- Banca March's consolidated profit was up 66%, to €116 million, during the year, on the back of an 8.3% rise in the Group's revenues from services and an 18.2% increase in gross income.
- The business volume posted by Banca March's Private Banking and Wealth Management areas at the end of 2021 was €19.6 billion, up 17%. Customer numbers grew 15%, assets under management 21% and investment 25%.
- For the bank as a whole, net new assets under management for the year amounted to €3 billion, doubling the target.
- According to the STIGA report on the sector, Banca March ended 2021 as the highest-ranked institution for in-branch customer service, with a rating of 8.99 compared with the sector average of 7.84. It is the most highly ranked institution in the four areas assessed: service, privacy and discretion, professionalism and wait time.
- In the Balearic Islands, the Retail and Private Banking area, the bulk of the business in the islands, grew business volume 13% with a 10% rise in customer numbers, thanks to the bank's in-depth knowledge of, and strong links with, its home market.
- Corporate Banking continues to strengthen its leadership in advising medium-sized enterprises and family businesses. In 2021, Banca March set a new record for the placement of short-term instruments (MARF and ECP promissory notes), with a total of €5,687 million, which marks an increase of 27% on the previous year.
- Thanks to an intense digital transformation plan, with total investments of nearly €220 million between 2018 and 2022, Banca March has become a leader in advisory technology, with the development of tools for customers and relationship managers that provide a state-of-the-art omnichannel advisory experience.
- Banca March has consolidated a people management model based on training and specialisation, becoming the best school in the Spanish banking industry for private bankers and business advisers, and it has the best trained professionals in the sector. All of this has earned it the most prestigious international acknowledgements in the area of Human Resources. The institution has been awarded a Top Employer certificate for the fourth year running and a certificate from the independent consultancy firm Great Place to Work for the third year in a row. In 2021, Banca March was named one of the top ten best places to work in Spain, and was the only Spanish bank featured among the best places to work in Europe, according to the prestigious Best Workplaces 2021 ranking from Great Place To Work.
Banca March's consolidated profit was up 66%, to €116 million, during the year, on the back of an 8.3% rise in the Group's revenues from services and an 18.2% increase in gross income.
The business volume posted by Banca March's specialist Private Banking and Wealth Management areas at the end of 2021 was €19.6 billion, up 17%. Customer numbers grew 15%, assets under management 21% and investment 25%.
In the Balearic Islands, the Retail and Private Banking area, the bulk of the business in the islands, grew business volume 13% with a 10% rise in customer numbers, thanks to the bank's in-depth knowledge of, and strong links with, its home market.
The bank boasts the highest CET1 capital adequacy ratio (18.54%) in the Spanish banking industry and one of the highest in Europe, and its LCR (217.74%), DTL (153.35%) and NPL coverage ratios (58,19%) are among the strongest in the sector.
Banca March continues to boast the lowest NPL ratio in the Spanish financial sector, even without having resorted to discounted NPL portfolio sales; 1.90% at year end 2021 compared with a sector average of 4.29%, according to the latest data from the Bank of Spain.
In August 2021, the credit rating agency Moody's ratified its A3 rating of Banca March's long-term deposits with a "stable" outlook, one of the best ratings in the Spanish financial system, ahead of the Kingdom of Spain (currently rated Baa1).
Banca March CEO José Luis Acea said: “Faithful to our founding principles, a long-term vision that seeks Shared Growth with customers, employees, shareholders and society as a whole, Banca March has been consolidated as a benchmark institution in Spain for private banking and business advice. The financial outcome from 2021 continues to show the solidity of a unique business model based on leadership in solvency (we are Spain's most solvent institution), responsible advice, a solid reputation, service quality, advisory technology and people management, with the best-trained professionals in the sector. At times like these is when our business and wealth management advisory model, which is especially focussed on family and medium-sized enterprises, takes on added value. Our goal is not to be the most profitable bank, but to generate value for our customers, employees, shareholders and society sustainably and in the long term, adapting, innovating and looking forwards, without ever losing sight of our essence."
At the forefront of the sector for in-branch service and quality
According to the results of Benchmarking Customer Satisfaction in the Financial Sector, drawn up by STIGA, Banca March ended 2021 as the highest-ranked institution for in-branch service, with a rating of 8.99 compared with the sector average of 7.84. More specifically, it is the most highly ranked institution in the four areas assessed: service, privacy and discretion, professionalism and wait time.
Banca March has created Spain's best school for private bankers in the sector, which is reflected in the quality perceived by its customers. According to the same STIGA study, Banca March was the highest-scoring bank in the sector in 2021 for strength and solvency and was among the top scorers for overall satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), satisfaction with managers, transparency, trust, personal relations, modernity and social commitment.
Leadership in advisory technology
Thanks to an intense digital transformation plan, which foresees total investments of nearly €220 million between 2018 and 2022, Banca March has become a leader in advisory technology, with the development of tools for customers and relationship managers that provide a state-of-the-art omnichannel advisory experience. The bank's customers now have access to the market's most comprehensive online reporting service, offering clear, detailed, easily accessible information on the real time performance of their savings and investments. Banca March recently became the first Spanish financial institution to offer its customers a voice biometrics system to authorise their banking transactions and has also developed one of the most comprehensive tax simulators in the sector.
The best school for private bankers and business advisers in the Spanish market
Banca March as consolidated its people management strategy as a high-performance, results-driven organisation underpinned by the ethical values of professionalism, competence, meritocracy and responsible banking. The institution employs the very best professionals and invests more than twice as much in training as the rest of the sector. This management style - which places the bank's people at the core of every initiative and seeks to offer a motivating work environment - has garnered Banca March global recognition in the field of Human Resources. The institution has recently been awarded a Top Employer certificate for the fourth year running and a certificate from the independent consultancy firm Great Place to Work for the third year in a row. In 2021, Banca March was named one of the top ten best places to work in Spain, and was the only Spanish bank featured among the best places to work in Europe, according to the prestigious Best Workplaces 2021 ranking from Great Place To Work.
Historically committed to sustainability
Banca March's commitment to sustainability is evident in every area of its activity. At Banca March, the only Spanish bank that is fully family-owned, with a unique and differentiated business model, sustainability has formed part of its business philosophy since its beginnings, more than 90 years ago.
Its commitment to Shared Growth, the cornerstone of the institution's century-old philosophy, demands a management approach that contributes to an inclusive, sustainable economic model while remaining profitable for stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders and society as a whole.
The institution and all of its subsidiaries are signatories to the UN Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. Under the framework of the European Commission's Sustainable Finance Plan, approved in 2018, Banca March launched several projects at the start of the year to strengthen initiatives for integrating ESG (environmental, social and good governance) criteria into its business model.
The projects undertaken involve analysing the loan portfolio in terms of vulnerability to the effects of climate change, studying alignment and eligibility as regards transition and mitigation goals (under the Green Taxonomy in the context of the Action Plan on Sustainable Finance) and analysing the portfolio's carbon footprint, as well as designing a decarbonisation strategy that allows financing to be redirected towards sustainable activities and to contribute to climate neutrality. As regards mortgage guarantees, the assets currently in the institution's portfolio are being assessed for environmental and climate risk, both for transition risk in relation to their energy rating according to their EPC (energy performance certificate) and their exposure to physical and material risks.
As well as its commitment to sustainable financing, Banca March also seeks to promote investment in sectors with effective environmental management strategies in place. For more than 90 years, Banca March has been making the most of transformation in opportunities for growth and in new ways of investing responsibly. The bank's commitment to responsible, sustainable investments is part of its vision of a new cycle that will be heavily influenced by technology, digitalisation and sustainability.
Over recent years, Banca March has rolled out innovative, alternative investment and financing solutions that combine sustainability and performance:
- The Mediterranean Fund remains immensely popular with investors and the product's socially responsible focus coupled with its performance are key to its success. Increased assets have meant it could donate €126,441 in 2021 (€60,366 in 2020) for the conservation of marine ecosystems.
- Banca March provides a discretionary portfolio management and delegated funds service characterised by its added value that is one of a kind in the market. It also has a dynamic Next Generation strategy, based on global megatrends identified by the bank's people as part of the social and economic change (Industry 4.0, sustainability and the environment, and demographics and lifestyle). More information further on.
- As regards impact and socially responsible investing (SRI), it has the Amundi CPR Banca March Impact Fund, which considers performance and risk criteria and also a third aspect: the expected impact of investment on the environment and society. The fund monitors the effect of investment on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). JSS Sustainable Equity – SDG Opportunities includes a rigorous sustainability analysis of the companies it invests in as part of its portfolio selection criteria. Its objective is to invest in companies that contribute positively to the fulfilment of the SDGs, including ending poverty, fighting climate change, education, women's equality, support for the environment and the design of cities.
- For fixed income, Robeco Climate Global Bonds, marketed exclusively by Banca March, invest in bonds from governments and corporations with lower carbon emissions and that are decarbonising at a year-on-year rate of 7%. The March Green Transition Bond Fund invests in green bonds, debt from companies with credible decarbonisation route maps and from countries that are undergoing a transformation process and implementing a sustainable growth model.
An advisory offer for every kind of saver: from the most conservative to the most sophisticated
Banca March Group continues to spearhead innovation in private banking products, offering the sector's most comprehensive range of proposals for all profiles, from the most conservative savers to the most sophisticated investors: Co-investment, added-value discretionary portfolio management (DPM), alternative funds, private equity (March Private Equity), impact and socially responsible investing, themed funds (March Asset Management) and special long-term savings products for Private Banking and Wealth Management customers, such as the unit-linked products developed by March Vida.
Banca March's AUM in Discretionary Portfolio Management (DPM) increased by 48% in 2021 to €1.87 billion. The number of customers taking out DPM services increased by 50% versus 2020 to total almost 6,000 contracts. These strong figures evidencing investors' unwavering confidence in Banca March to secure a strong performance for their investments even against a highly complex backdrop for the financial markets.
The combined volume of assets under DPM, plus the assets under management in funds managed by Banca March's partners, under its own strategic guidance, in order to offer impact and socially responsible investing (SRI) and alternative investment strategies, rose to a total of €2.78 billion, up 74% over the year.
Discretionary portfolio management (DPM) services, which are characterised at Banca March by their unparalleled added value, were launched in 2018 to provide customers with a selection of open-architecture products that are actively managed to generate returns in any market context. The growth figures reported evidence the strong investor take-up levels thanks to the outstanding results obtained.
The Next Generation strategy – which invests in global megatrends rooted in social and economic change (industry 4.0, sustainability and the environment, and demographics and lifestyle) identified by the bank's team – put in an outstanding performance, with AUM climbing over 67% to December to stand at a total of €642 million. Aimed at customers with an adventurous profile, the service invests 100% in equity funds with a portfolio based on diversification and underpinned by the principles that comprise the bank's entire philosophy: prudence, long-term goals and shared growth with customers, employees and shareholders. Another route to this value proposition is through the fund of funds March Next Generation F.I., a megatrend strategy with a minimum investment of just one share.
The alternative investment solutions launched by the bank in 2019 through partnerships with K2 Advisors - Franklin Templeton (DPM) and Banque Syz (fund of funds) continue to outperform, with year-on-year gains in 2021 of 163% and over €425 million in assets under management. In addition to these solutions, the fund of funds March Alternative Strategies ⎯was launched by March Asset Management in coordination with Banca March under the alternative investment advisory agreement with K2 Advisors - Franklin Templeton⎯. This product affords conservative investors access to a diversified portfolio of vehicles specialising in Long Short Equity, Global Macro, Credit/Relative Value and Event-driven strategies. This product had generated total assets under management of €147 million at the end of December.
Recently, the range of alternative investment solutions has been reinforced with the launch of the fund Dynamic Alternative Strategies, designed in partnership with Dynamic Beta Investments (DBI), which tracks the performance of a basket of hedge funds, comprising the 50 largest funds in the Event Driven, Equity Hedge and Relative Value strategies and 20 CTAs (Systematic global macro).
The impact and socially responsible investing (SRI) strategies launched with international fund managers such as Amundi-CPR have also posted outstanding inflows since their launch in late 2020, with a 240% increase in AUM to a total of €225 million. This figure includes the latest addition in this segment: the fixed income fund Robeco Global Climate Bonds, which seeks to reduce the carbon footprint of the issuers comprising its portfolio and currently has assets under management of €45 million.
Co-investment continues to be one of the hallmarks of Banca March. These are illiquid projects that channel investment strategies in the real economy, where customers invest alongside Group shareholders, sharing age-old investment experience. In 2021, projects amounting to almost €120 million were marketed. Over the year, Banca March admitted investors into three exclusive co-investment projects: Murillo Alcalá, the fourth development of logistical infrastructures along with the building group and partner Pavasal; Oquendo Senior II ELTIF, a project that grants non-bank senior financing to healthy, medium-sized Spanish enterprises with a vocation for growth; and Impulsa I, also with partner Oquendo Capital, and focussed on providing companies in the Levante area with flexible financing to drive their growth.
With global assets under management of over €5,410 million at 31 December 2021, March Asset Management (AM) is the Group's asset management arm and one of its strategic business lines. March AM ranks fourth in the Spanish market by assets under management in SICAVs, with a total of €2,218 million under management in these vehicles at the end of December. March A.M.'s three institutional SICAVs are traditional liquid co-investment products and one of the hallmarks of Banca March. Torrenova is among Spain's largest SICAVs, with €954 million under management at year end. It was created over 20 years ago as an investment vehicle for the bank's shareholders and 4,364 customers currently hold investments in the fund. Bellver (€360 million in assets under management and 2,542 shareholders) and Lluc (€213 million in assets under management and 1,373 shareholders) complete this group of products.
March A.M.'s equity funds included the Mediterranean Fund, a socially responsible fund that invests in water and the ocean economy and had an accumulated return of 26.56% for the year and more than €136 million under management. March Iberia, with a return of 21.34%, closes the year as the second active management fund with top returns in its category.
The bank of choice for family businesses
In Corporate Banking, Banca March's activity is geared towards companies, family businesses and business-owning families, specialising particularly in alternative financing, direct lending, customised treasury solutions and risk hedging. Business volume for the Large Companies unit was up by 10.2% in comparison with 2021, assets under management grew by 217.5% and the number of customer rose by 7.5%.
Banca March remains committed to supporting and advising family businesses in the process of expanding internationally. Banca March's International Business continues to enjoy robust growth, as reflected by the 215% increase in off-balance sheet assets under management (guarantees and letters of credit) at year end and the 30% jump in customer numbers for this business since December 2020.
Banca March remains at the top of the ranking of Registered Arrangers and Dealers for short-term MARF and ECP commercial paper programmes for Spanish corporate issuers. In 2021, Banca March set a new record for the placement of short-term instruments (MARF and ECP promissory notes), with a total of €5,687 million, which marks an increase of 27% on the previous year. As regards medium- and long-term issuances, 2021 was also a year of strong growth for Banca March, participating in the active placement of six bonds, four of which exclusively, for an amount almost three times higher than the year before.
In Equity Capital Markets (ECM), the bank continued to focus on trading blocks of shares, as well as IPOs and capital increases. Banca March has performed 11 capital increases and blocks in 2021, with an increase of 120% in number of transactions and 130% in volume brokered in comparison with 2020.
Banca March also participated in syndicated and club financing deals in 2021, representing a total aggregate volume of over €9 billion, of which, €6,725 million represent ESG transactions.