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ASN Bank on track for half a million customers in jubilee year

50 years of sustainable banking crowned with record growth

In 2009 ASN Bank again demonstrated considerable growth:

  • Its customer base showed a net growth of 61,000 new customers, now numbering more than 480,000 customers (+15%)
  • Total assets under management increased by € 1,590 million to € 7,539 million (+27%)
  • Funds entrusted rose by € 1,380 million to € 6,346 million (+28%)
  • The sustainable investment funds saw their capital increase by € 210 million to € 1,193 million (+21%)
  • Net profits were down on 2008, totalling € 9.9 million (-42%), due to € 11 million in non-recurring charges related to the bankruptcies of DSB and Icesave

Largest customer growth in fifty years
In 2009, ASN Bank saw its customer base increase by 61,000 to more than 480,000 customers: the largest absolute growth in the bank’s history, which spans almost fifty years. Ewoud Goudswaard, Managing Director of ASN Bank: ‘This growth demonstrates that customers can relate to the authenticity and clear choices of ASN Bank. We are very pleased with this recognition of our contributions to society by funding initiatives such as renewable energy, climate policy and the fight against weapons and child labour.

Vital elements of our success include the quality of our services and, in particular, clearly communicating what we stand for and what we do. Speed, simplicity and making good on your promises are key to success. It’s not enough to merely claim sustainability. Importantly, we apply the funds entrusted to us by our customers transparently and responsibly to create social added value. The 2009 results reflect our ability to translate our customers’ ideals and wishes into sustainable financial policy. Customer focus is not something to just talk about –but something you must put into practice. It is in our blood to provide simple and easy-to-understand products, services that fulfil their promises, and sustainable solutions, and to communicate openly about it with our customers. For example, through our own customer contact centre, the internet community voordewereldvanmorgen.nl, customer panels and at events such as the ASN Wereldprijs award ceremony.’

Half a century of sustainable choices
ASN Bank’s roots can be traced back to the trade unions, which needed a bank for union members who wanted to save money without compromising their ideals about human rights, including trade union freedom, freedom of speech and fighting discrimination. ASN Bank has always remained true to its original intentions: it uses the money entrusted to it to the direct benefit of society, in a transparent and responsible manner. Human rights are inextricably linked to ASN Bank’s mission. The financial crisis and the subsequent debate about the role of banks prove that these principles are still very much relevant today.

Successful financing in renewable energy
Besides human rights, climate policy remains paramount, as was shown in 2009 by, for example, striking foreign financing we provided for renewable energy projects. ASN Bank teamed up with several partners to fund the Belgian offshore windfarm Belwind, which will generate enough electricity to provide approximately 330,000 households with green energy. The bank also extended loans to two major Belgian solar energy projects. These are just two examples of how the bank lives up to its ambition to promote renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions. On top of that, ASN Bank was the only Dutch bank to publish the climate impact of its equity funds in 2009.

Outlook for 2010
ASN Bank considers 2010 to be yet another year in which there are good opportunities to generate robust growth. One way to accomplish this is the ASN Bank account, as an increasing number of customers opt for ASN Bank as their principal bank. The introduction of the ASN current account (ASN Bankrekening)in 2009 heralded the bank’s new role as a payments bank, supplementing its activities in the areas of savings, investment and sustainable finance. With this comprehensive service to people who appreciate a sustainable current account, it expects to meet growing demand in the years ahead. The increasing number of customers and assets under management also allow the bank to step up its contribution to sustainability in society, while staying mindful of consistency in high-quality services and the translation of its sustainability policy.

Notes to the financial results
ASN Bank posted excellent results in 2009 in the face of continuing turmoil on the financial markets. The results were negatively affected by the bankruptcies of Icesave and DSB Bank, resulting in a relatively high one-off charge of € 11 million for ASN Bank. This led to an ultimate profit after taxes of € 9.9 million. Without these one-off costs, profits amounted to € 18.1 million, up 7% compared to 2008.

Net interest income developed positively and increased clearly compared to 2008, mainly because volume exceeded the level of 2008 throughout 2009. Without the non-recurring charge caused by the Icesave and DSB Bank bankruptcies, total expenditure of € 24.2 million in 2009 was almost flat on 2008.

Development of funds entrusted
In 2009, savings and current account balances posted record growth. Total funds entrusted were up € 1,380 million (+28%) to € 6,346 million. This growth was driven by deposits on ASN Ideaalsparen and ASN Méérsparen. ASN Jeugdsparen also proved very successful.

Development of the investment funds
In 2009, the investment funds managed by ASN Beleggingsinstellingen Beheer recovered almost all of the damage incurred in 2008 due to the financial crisis. ASN Aandelenfonds generated a 27.1% return, ASN Milieu & Waterfonds achieved 37.0% and ASN Small & Midcap Fonds 47.2%. These funds experienced a robust inflow of new money. ASN Milieu & Waterfonds received a Lipper Award and – for the third time in a row – a Groene Stier award for the best sustainable equity fund.

ASN Obligatiefonds generated a 2.9% return and showed a strong inflow of € 26 million, whilst ASN Mixfonds generated a 13.8% return. ASN Mixfonds was the only fund with modest outflow.

ASN Bank offers two tax-based funds: ASN Groenprojectenfonds and ASN-Novib Fonds. On top of the return, investors in these funds benefit from a tax advantage of up to 2.5%. ASN Groenprojectenfonds posted a return of 3.3%. Deposits into this fund returned to a modestly upward trend following the great outflow of 2008. ASN-Novib Fonds generated a return of 4.1%. This fund showed remarkable growth, attracting € 35 million of new capital in 2009.

Key figures                                      
(in millions of euros) 
2009       2008       Increase or decrease in %
Funds entrusted* 6.346 4.966 27,8
Investment funds’ assets under management 1.193 983 21,4
Total assets under management 7.539 5.949 26,7
Interest result 44,5 40,8 9,1
Other income 3,9 6,2 -37,1
Total expenditure 35,2 24,3 44,9
Net profit 9,9 16,9 -41,4
Number of customers (x 1,000) 481 420 14,5

* Funds entrusted comprise savings and other amounts due to customers in the form of held for legal entities (associations, foundations and trusts).

The Hague, 17 March 2010

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