H1 2023 consolidated profit amounted to CHF 67.2 million, up 8.4% on the prior-year period. Operating income was up by 19.9% to CHF 266.1 million. Valiant’s operating result came in at CHF 104.8 million, an increase of 38.3%. Strong interest and trading income contributed to Valiant’s robust H1 2023 results. «I am delighted by these excellent half-year results. We feel our clients’ trust – and for us, this is the foundation of a good customer relationship. Our employees work hard day in, day out, to offer our clients comprehensive, personalised advice,» says Valiant CEO Ewald Burgener. «Our extremely strong operating result for the first six months shows that our strategy is working.»
Interest operations remain strong
Valiant remains ideally positioned in the turbulent interest rate environment, with the gross result from interest operations rising by 18.3% to CHF 205.1 million. The net result from interest operations stood at CHF 195.4 million, up 16.8% year on year. This increase was attributable to higher interest rates and active asset and liability management.
Growth in commission business and services
The result from commission business and services came in at CHF 40.1 million, representing a rise of 9.8%. This increase was due primarily to changes in accounting practices in the payment card business, as well as to adjustments to various types of commission. Financial market volatility continued to impact the investment business. Commission income from securities trading and investment activities was down slightly year on year, falling by 0.8% to CHF 24.8 million. Valiant is expanding its investment offering, and from August, clients will be able to trade and hold the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether.
Result from trading activities and other ordinary income
The result from trading activities climbed by CHF 11.7 million (+139.1%) to CHF 20.1 million. This rise was once again attributable to increased income from forward foreign exchange contracts. Other ordinary income was up by 6.9% year on year due to higher income from holdings.
Operating expenses and allocation to reserves for general banking risks
Operating expenses climbed by 11.0% to CHF 150.8 million as a result of a one-off contribution of CHF 10.0 million to the employee pension fund, along with investments in digitalisation and the expansion. Thanks to the higher operating result, which was mainly driven by interest income, CHF 20.0 million was allocated to the reserves for general banking risks in the first half of the year. This strengthened Valiant’s equity capital and raised its capital ratio to 16.0%, which is well above regulatory requirements.
Clients loans and amounts due to clients
Client loans grew by 2.0%, which means that Valiant is on course to achieve its annual growth target of at least 3%. Amounts due to clients stood at CHF 29.3 billion at 30 June 2023.
In the current turbulent interest rate environment, Valiant is focusing on stability and on ensuring its long-term funding. The three pillars of this strategy are amounts due to clients, central mortgage institution loans and covered bonds. In the first half of the year, Valiant recorded inflows of new deposits from both private and corporate customers. In total, clients entrusted Valiant with CHF 595.1 million in new deposits during the period. In response to the changed interest rate environment, Valiant is strategically reducing short-term fixed investments by professional counterparties. Overall, this resulted in a decrease in amounts to due clients of 0.5%.
Five interest rate increases – it still pays to save with Valiant
Since negative interest rates ended, Valiant has raised the interest rates on its savings products five times. In this way, the bank is immediately passing on the benefits of the Swiss National Bank’s key interest rate hikes to its customers. From 1 August 2023, interest rates will also be higher on Valiant’s pension products. The Savings Account Plus, which was launched in February 2023, is proving extremely popular. New Savings Account Plus deposits earn a preferential interest rate of 1.5%. For more information see: valiant.ch/sparkonto-plus.
Programme to increase profitability
Valiant is making good and consistent progress in implementing its Strategy 2024. With its programme to increase profitability, Valiant aims to reduce costs by roughly CHF 12–15 million annually from 2024. In order to achieve this, cost-cutting and optimisation measures are being implemented in all divisions across the entire bank. A total of 43 of the planned 50 full-time-equivalent positions have been cut since the launch of the programme, and CHF 11 million will be saved by the end of 2023. The measures are being implemented on a continuous basis and their financial effect will be fully felt from the 2024 financial year onwards.
Two new branches opened
The bank’s expansion from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance is moving ahead as planned. So far this year, Valiant has already opened two new branches. Valiant opened its first branch in the canton of Schaffhausen, in the city’s historic old town, making Schaffhausen the 15th Swiss canton served by the bank. Valiant also opened its seventh branch in the canton of Zurich, in the centre of the vibrant city district of Altstetten.
As part of its expansion strategy, Valiant will open 14 new branches between 2020 and 2024. It will create 170 full-time-equivalent positions, including 140 in client advisory services.
Incorporating sustainability into client advisory consultations
In 2023, Valiant is focusing on integrating sustainability criteria into its core business. From 2024 onwards, sustainability will be addressed during client advisory consultations. When it comes to financing home ownership, for example, energy efficiency and the long-term preservation of a building’s value are key considerations. Clients are asked about their ESG preferences during investment discussions, and the investment offering is then aligned with those preferences. To ensure that they can give high-quality advice, all client advisors will receive in-depth training on these topics.
Valiant continues to take its social responsibility seriously. Instead of presenting shareholders with a gift at the Annual General Meeting, Valiant will make a donation to two charities this year: Schweizer Berghilfe and Pro Natura will each receive CHF 12,500.
Valiant as a responsible training institution
Valiant educates around 35 trainees in three professions each year and offers secondary school leavers the possibility of doing an internship. In this way, Valiant makes a vital contribution to ensuring that young people receive a well-grounded education. This year, 80% of graduating trainees were retained, showing that the bank has a popular corporate culture and that its vocational training courses are a success. To further strengthen its commitment to basic education and address the shortage in qualified workers, the bank will be offering a new vocational apprenticeship in the field of digitalisation from summer 2024. Graduates from this course will obtain the title of Federally Certified Digital Business Developer. For more information see: valiant.ch/grundbildung.
Valiant expects consolidated profit to be higher in the current year.
Key balance sheet figures
|30/06/2023 in CHF millions
|31/12/2022 in CHF millions
|Change as %
- of which mortgage loans
|Amounts due to client
Key income statement figures
|30/06/2023 in CHF thousands
|30/06/2022 in CHF thousands
|Change as %
|Gross result from interest operations
|Result from commission business and services
|Result from trading activities
|Other ordinary income
Additional key figures
Documents and information on the half-year results are available at: valiant.ch/results.
Images can be downloaded here: valiant.ch/downloads.