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IBOS member Santander’s attributable profit for 2017 reaches €6,619 million, up seven per cent.

Banco Santander, S.A. (‘Santander’) increased attributable profit by 7% to €6,619 million during 2017, after €897 million million of net capital gains and provisions, with growth driven by further improvements in the quality and recurrence of revenues, combined with good cost control and an overall strengthening in credit quality.

The Group continued to see positive trends across its businesses, with revenues increasing in eight of its ten core markets. Total income increased by 10% to €48,392 million, with net interest income and  fee income increasing by 10% and 14% respectively.

The number of customers using digital services increased by 21% during the year to 25.4 million (excluding Popular), helping reduce the cost per transaction by 22% during the year. The launch of a number of  new  digital  platforms  including  OpenBank,  SuperDigital  and  Santander  Pay,  helped  increase  the  proportion of sales completed through digital channels to 31%.

This  progress  in  digital  transformation,  combined with  strong  cost  discipline,  allowed  Santander  to maintain its position as one of the most efficient banks in the world.  The Group’s cost/income ratio, a key measure of efficiency, improved by 73 basis points to 47%. This compares to a global peer average of c.64%.

Executive chairman Ana Botín said that it had been a “very strong year” which demonstrated “the strength of our scale and diversification.”

Below are the financial highlights for Q4 2017:

Underlying profit before tax for Q4 2017 increased by 19% to €3,375 million.

Group maintained its position among the most profitable and efficient banks in the world with  underlying Return on Tangible Equity (RoTE) increasing by 70 basis points in the year to 11.8% and  cost‐to‐income ratio improving by 73 basis points to 47%.

Total income for the year increased by 10% to €48,392 million with further improvements in the  quality and recurrence of Group earnings and particularly strong revenue growth in Latin America.

The Group continued  to help people and businesses prosper, earning  the loyalty of a further two  million customers and increasing lending and funds by 2% and 8% respectively during the year,  excluding Popular.

Digital  customers increased  by  21%  during  the year  to  25 million, with  the  proportion  of  sales  taking place through digital channels increasing to 31%, excluding Popular.

The Group has delivered on all strategic targets for 2017 and remains confident it will achieve  all  targets for 2018.

Read the full press release via Santander here, as well as Santander’s fourth quarter results published in the Financial Times here, behind a paywall.