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Swedbank Q3 profit drops 16% YOY

Swedbank AB (publ)'s third-quarter profit attributable to shareholders fell 16% year over year to 4.66 billion Swedish kronor from 5.53 billion kronor.

EPS for the period was 4.16 kronor, down from 4.93 kronor in the third quarter of 2018. Return on equity declined year over year to 14.1% from 16.9%.

Swedbank President and CEO Jens Henriksson said geopolitical tensions continued to affect bank's market during the quarter, even as the bank saw a tough competition from both new and established players. Further, higher expenses weighed down the bank's quarterly results, Henriksson said, citing one-off items and the bank's spending to manage ongoing government probes and to take measures to strengthen anti-money laundering processes.

Net interest income increased to 6.55 billion kronor from 6.33 billion kronor in the same period of 2018, while net commission income fell to 3.30 billion kronor from 3.34 billion kronor. The bank said it booked net gains on financial items of 457 million kronor, down 6% year over year.

Other income, which includes net insurance, share of profit or loss of associates and other income from the group income statement, dropped by 1% year over year to 919 million kronor from 927 million kronor a year ago.

Meanwhile, net credit impairments increased to 154 million kronor from 117 million kronor in the year-ago period.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the bank's attributable profit dropped 8% year over year to 15.27 billion kronor from 16.57 billion kronor. EPS for the nine-month period was 13.62 kronor, down on a yearly basis from 14.80 kronor.

The Swedish bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio was reported at 16.3% as of Sept. 30, compared to 16.1% at June 30 and 24.3% as of Sept. 30, 2018.

Henriksson said his three key priorities are to get to the bottom of the money laundering accusations against the bank and to address the shortcomings in their anti-money laundering work; to continue to improve the bank's customer offerings; and, to continue the sustainability work.

As of Oct. 22, US$1 was equivalent to 9.63 Swedish kronor.