Bank Frick records higher income and more investments in 2018
In the past financial year, Bank Frick operated in a challenging market environment. Despite this, the Bank managed to achieve higher income than in the previous year across all areas. Bank Frick 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 Bank Frick 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
Bank Frick 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, Bank Frick significantly increased its personnel in the previous financial year, as planned. As of 31 December 2018, 124 staff (previous year: 81) worked for Bank Frick. 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.”
Bank Frick 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, Bank Frick 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, Bank Frick acquired a stake in 21.finance AG, which operates the primary-market platform area2Invest. Thus, Bank Frick 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, Bank Frick is far ahead of its competition in some areas. For example, Bank Frick 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 Bank Frick 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.
About Bank Frick
Bank Frick 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 Bank Frick’s share capital. Net1 is a financial technology company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.
Bank Frick focuses on providing products and services for financial intermediaries such as fiduciaries, asset managers, payment service providers and fintechs.
One of Bank Frick’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 Bank Frick clients, and makes crypto assets bankable.
Bank Frick 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.
Bank Frick 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.
Bank Frick employs more than 120 members of staff and operates a branch in London, UK.
Bank Frick & Co. AG
Sigvard Wohlwend, Head of Corporate and Market Communications
T +423 388 21 46
sigvard.wohlwend [at] bankfrick.li