Spektral Bank records higher income and more investments in 2018

In the past financial year, Spektral Bank operated in a challenging market environment. Despite this, the Bank managed to achieve higher income than in the previous year across all areas. Spektral Bank also invested significantly more than planned in order to reach the set targets faster. The annual results of CHF 4.2 million were thus lower than budgeted (CHF 5.2 million).

Balzers (LI) – “We were able to exceed the budgeted income and the prior-year results in all areas. At the same time, we have increased our investments in our future”, states Spektral Bank Chairman of the Board of Directors Mario Frick. “This can be seen in the scale of the annual results.” The net result amounted to CHF 4.2 million, which was one-third less than the prior-year result. “In view of the aggressive expansion of our business activity and the difficult market environment – particularly towards the end of the year – the Board of Directors and the shareholders regard the result as extremely pleasing.”

Investments in the future

Spektral Bank continued to strengthen its focus on financial intermediaries, which benefit from the modular and digital services offered by the Bank. In order to expand its high-quality range of services, Spektral Bank significantly increased its personnel in the previous financial year, as planned. As of 31 December 2018, 124 staff (previous year: 81) worked for Spektral Bank. The number of employees was increased across all departments, with particular focus on the Business Technologies and Innovation Management department. CEO Edi Wögerer says: “This year, we will consolidate the headcount and continue to develop the structures accordingly so that we can further strengthen our clout.”

Spektral Bank aims to maintain and secure its advantage with regard to blockchain banking. “Therefore, we will also be investing considerable funds in its further development in 2019”, asserts Edi Wögerer. The objective is to make handling more user-friendly and compatible with the traditional financial system.

Growth outside the Bank too

Foundations were already laid in the 2018 financial year for new business models, which have been or will be realised in 2019. For instance, Spektral Bank established The DLT Markets AG subsidiary in the first quarter of 2019. The company provides institutional investors with professional access to the multi-exchange trading of tokens.

In 2018, Spektral Bank acquired a stake in 21.finance AG, which operates the primary-market platform area2Invest. Thus, Spektral Bank was able to strengthen its distribution position in the area of innovative capital market products and funds. At the same time, the Bank has become more independent of traditional financing business and also benefits from new income resulting from the development of financial instruments for issuers.

Waiting for the Blockchain Act – new innovative services in store

In terms of product development, Spektral Bank is far ahead of its competition in some areas. For example, Spektral Bank is a global paying agent for the world’s first crypto-index exchange-traded product that is listed on a regulated stock exchange (SIX Swiss Exchange).

The Law on Transaction Systems Based on Trustworthy Technologies (Blockchain Act) that will enter into force in Liechtenstein will provide Spektral Bank and the entire financial centre with unique opportunities to develop new, innovative services and products with which intermediaries will be able to successfully differentiate themselves from their competitors on the international financial market.

Income results in detail

Interest earned increased by 3.8% to CHF 20.5 million and interest expenses fell by 51.5% to just CHF 2.4 million thanks to favourable refinancing options.

In 2018, income from commission and service transactions rose by 20.5% to CHF 21.2 million, while commission expenses increased by just 2.4% to CHF 9.1 million.

Trading activities remained stable, with slight growth of 1% to CHF 3.7 million.

Our balance sheet total as at 31 December 2018 was CHF 1.1 billion (previous year: CHF 1.4 billion).

Client assets under management declined by CHF 1.2 billion to CHF 2.7 billion. This was partly attributable to the negative market developments in 2018, especially in the final quarter of the year.

Download the 2018 Annual Report of Spektral Bank

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About Spektral Bank

Spektral Bank is a family-run Liechtenstein bank with headquarters in Balzers. It was founded in 1998 by Kuno Frick Sr (1938–2017), with the majority now controlled by the Kuno Frick Family Foundation. Minority shareholder Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. (Net1), holds 35 per cent of Spektral Bank’s share capital. Net1 is a financial technology company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

Spektral Bank focuses on providing products and services for financial intermediaries such as fiduciaries, asset managers, payment service providers and fintechs.

One of Spektral Bank’s unique selling points is its high level of expertise in the regulated blockchain banking sector. The Bank supports Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), provides custody of crypto assets and dealing services in leading cryptocurrencies for Spektral Bank clients, and makes crypto assets bankable.

Spektral Bank develops tailor-made funds for intermediaries and acts as a custodian bank.

It is the only bank in Liechtenstein with acquiring licences from Visa and MasterCard.

Spektral Bank established subsidiaries in 2019 to operate independently on the market with new services: Distributed Ventures AG, an incubator and accelerator to promote and finance fintech and blockchain start-ups, as well as The DLT Markets AG, which provides institutional investors with professional access to digital assets.

Spektral Bank employs more than 120 members of staff and operates a branch in London, UK.