Head of PostFinance
What was PostFinance’s annual result for 2018?
We saw a significant decline in profits. This was mainly due to a significant drop in income from the interest differential business and to a one-off item in the previous year. Interest rates, which are still very low, and the prohibition on lending are causing difficulties for us.
The Federal Council now wants to lift the lending prohibition. What does that mean for PostFinance?
This is a policy decision that has yet to be approved by Parliament. It is likely to take several more years at best before the lending prohibition is lifted and we see a positive effect on our earnings.
What are you doing to halt the downward trend?
We are forced to implement unpopular measures, such as reducing staff numbers and increasing fees. That’s always painful. At the same time, we are investing in the future of PostFinance by moving into new business areas and substantially expanding our digital investment business. Our aim is to convert more savings customers into investment customers.
PostFinance’s operating result fell from 549 million francs in the previous year to 220 million francs. Operating income was down 372 million francs to 1,704 million francs. This is mainly due to non-recurring one-off capital gains of 109 million francs from the sale of shares in the previous year and the current market-related lower interest and dividend income, which decreased by 155 million francs. PostFinance has initiated various measures to counteract the decline in profit. However, the lifting of the lending prohibition is the key factor in ensuring PostFinance’s long-term profitability and competitiveness.