George Handjinicolaou, Chairman of the board of directors, commenting on the results said: “The coronavirus is proving to be an unprecedented health emergency for societies around the world, which is mutating into a significant economic shock to the economies. It is important to remember that 2019 was a year of growth for the Greek economy. Whether these positive developments in 2019 will sustain an economic recovery in Greece, which is currently experiencing a particularly turbulent environment, like many other economies around the world, will depend on our ability to mitigate the emerging negative repercussions and manage the new prevailing conditions. Up until now this effort has been effective in Greece. Enterprises including banks are addressing operational challenges, including the responsibility of safeguarding the health and well-being of their employees and customers. At Piraeus Bank, we are responding to this crisis with a strong sense of responsibility and determination, promoting a spirit of cooperation and taking actions in order to support all our stakeholders. The Bank’s solid capital base, ample liquidity buffers along with full operational readiness enable us to withstand the current stressed situation and provide our services to customers. We acknowledge that this is a challenging period for both households and businesses and the economy overall. As a result, consistent with our corporate responsibility strategy and aiming at reducing the implications of the coronavirus emergency, we have undertaken timely measures to support customers, both individuals and businesses, with a focus on SMEs, in collaboration with the official sector, institutions, organisations and strategic partners. The Bank will continue to conduct sound corporate governance, solid capital and liquidity planning and robust risk management for the benefit of its customers, employees, shareholders and society at large.“
“The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting banks and economies on a global scale. We are closely working with the Greek authorities, the supervisory bodies and our stakeholders to address the challenges the pandemic presents. The health of our people and customers is our top priority. We constantly evaluate the situation, and although it is difficult at this point to have a proper and clear picture of the impact, we are conducting diligent analysis of our portfolio and client relationships. Since the current health crisis emerged, the Βank has been addressing all aspects of the situation and has activated all necessary protocols and actions to mitigate the possible effects. We rely on our 2019 fundamentals that depict our strong progress and we work in all fronts, based on our enhanced capital positions and solid liquidity profile. On profitability, we reported net profit attributable to shareholders of €270mn, driven by resilient top line and improved operating efficiency. We placed special focus on the Bank’s capital enhancement in 2019. Piraeus managed to increase its capital base by ~280bps, outperforming initial expectation. Our total capital ratio at the end of the year stood at 15.7% with CET1 ratio at 14.8%. Including the €500mn Tier 2 issued in February 2020, our total capital ratio stands at 16.8%. Our NPE reduction effort in 2019 resulted in €3bn NPE decrease. As reported in our market update on 3 February, NPE inflows were at historic lows in Q4.19. Our preparations for the two NPE securitizations totaling €7bn continue unabated. Our liquidity position remains solid and ample; during Q1.20 private sector deposits have been increasing, with our liquidity coverage ratio hovering around 120%, higher than year-end 2019. Piraeus Bank has taken action early on to support its clients and the economy in accordance with the measures taken by the Greek and EU authorities to alleviate the economic consequences of the pandemic. We remain confident that, as soon as these extraordinary events subside, the economy will revert to a healthy growth. Piraeus Bank remains committed to fully leverage on its capacity to generate value, to serve and support customers, shareholders and employees," Christos Megalou, Chief Executive Officer said.