The current PostFinance Ltd Interim Report
The first half of 2023 was marked by extraordinary events at the financial centers in Switzerland and abroad. Despite difficult market conditions, PostFinance generated profit as per the accounting rules for banks (ARB) of 90 million francs for the first six months of the year. This represents a decline of 63 million francs compared to the prior-year period, but also marks a trend reversal.
With the turnaround in interest rates, net interest income fell by 46 million francs year-on-year. On 1 October 2022, PostFinance cancelled customer asset fees for its private and business customers. At the same time, PostFinance suffered a loss of income from negative interest rates on the interbank money market. This was offset by new income from interest on credit balances at the SNB and positive returns from new investment tranches. Long-term interest rates on the capital market rose significantly last year, making it possible to achieve higher returns on financial investments. Another factor with an impact compared to the previous year is the higher level of customer deposits, which allow greater scope for new commitments to financial investments. There is a visible trend towards improved profitability of the company.
In terms of both service and commission income and trading portfolio assets, various behavioural and economic trends became apparent. In particular, the accelerated decline of 21 percent in physical payment transactions at Swiss Post branches was not offset by the expansion of the product range – for example, the combination of the PostFinance Card with Debit Mastercard. In addition, investors were unsettled by the geopolitical situation, worldwide interest rate hikes and growing fears of recession. As a result, customer assets in investment products fell by 13 percent over the course of 2022. Thanks to positive market developments and net inflows, these assets again rose significantly
in the first half of the year, up by 1.6 billion francs. Portfolio commissions, however, remained below the previous year’s level. Operating expenses fell by 2 percent, due to lower project costs and efficiency improvements achieved through implementation of the strategy.