Despite a fall in vehicle registrations across its markets, RCI Banque delivered strong commercial and financial performance in 2012.By improving its penetration rate in key European countries and growing volumes outside Europe, RCI Banque preserved new financings at a high level of €10.8 billion.Buoyed by 6.2% growth in average performing loans, full-year earnings before tax came to €772.1 million, down 1.7% on 2011.
In 2012, RCI Banque once again demonstrated its ability to refinance itself competitively, raising €5.4 billion on the capital markets with maturities of one year or longer.Additionally, the newly launched ZESTO French retail savings account attracted deposits of €893 million at the end of December 2012.
Commenting on the results, Dominique Thormann, Chairman and CEO of RCI Banque, said, “Despite challenging economic conditions in Europe, RCI Banque maintained its growth momentum. The Group has improved its commercial performance across all Alliance brands, and confirmed its ability to diversify its sources of refinancing. With the ZESTO savings account launched in February 2012, RCI Banque established itself as a long-term player in the retail savings market. A savings account will also be launched for German savers in the coming weeks. RCI Banque has set a target of collecting €2 billion in total deposits by the end of December 2013. This is a strategic target aimed at making our company less dependent on the capital markets while supporting the Group’s growth.”
A strategy of defending market share in Western Europe and increasing outstandings in countries with a growing automotive market
- In Europe, where the automotive market declined by 8.6%, Group new financings fell by only 6%.
The decline was contained through a proactive sales strategy resulting in an improvement in penetration rates in the Renault and Dacia brands of 1.5 and 2.3 percentage points respectively. The launch of Clio 4 generated strong performance in the last quarter.
- RCI continued to expand internationally in order to capitalize on growth in non-European markets: Non-European countries now represent 38% of new financings.
In Brazil and Argentina, growth was buoyed by the Alliance’s strong performance in local markets. Brazil now is the second-largest contributor to new financings for RCI Banque, behind France and ahead of Germany. RCI Banque’s joint venture with Oyak began its financing business in Turkey in July 2012.
Growth in average performing outstanding loans was also driven by performance in used vehicle financing. With 177,883 vehicles financed, the used vehicle business grew by 7.7%.
RCI Banque also continued actions focused on growing its services business. The number of service contracts increased to 1,311,000, up 5.4% on 2011, helping improve customer satisfaction and loyalty to Alliance brands.
Continuing strong financial performance
Business growth across all Alliance brands drove a 6.2% increase in average outstanding loans to €24.2 billion and a 4.1% increase in net banking income to €1.2 billion. Tight control ensured that operating expenses were kept to 1.57% of loans outstanding, or €380 million, giving a cost/income ratio of 30.7% – one of the lowest in the market.
As a result, earnings before tax came in at €773 million, down a slightly 1.7% on 2011. This decline was mainly driven by the cost of risk, which stood at 0.38% of loans outstanding at end December 2012, compared with an exceptionally low 0.23% at end of 2011.
RCI Banque diversifies its sources of refinancing
RCI Banque successfully pursued its policy of diversifying its sources of refinancing, raising €5.4 billion in funds with a maturity of more than one year.
The main objective was to diversify currencies and the investor base. RCI completed its first bond issues in Australian dollars, Norwegian krona and Swedish krona, completed by a Swiss franc issue. The resulting new funds reduced the amount of euro bond funding required to €2,400 million (raised in four issues). As in previous years, the group’s subsidiaries also raised funds on local bond markets in Argentina, South Korea and Brazil.
The group also refinances itself through securitization transactions offering investors attractive assets backed by automotive loans. Funds raised through structured finance totaled €1,850 million. The group also completed two self-underwritten securitization transactions  backed by automotive loans in France and Italy, boosting its liquidity reserve and improving the strength of the balance sheet.
The final diversification tool in RCI Banque’s refinancing policy is the ZESTO savings account launched in France in February 2012. The amount collected exceeded initial forecasts, with 22,250 accounts opened and total deposit balances of €893 million at the end of December. This success can be attributed to competitive interest rates and a commitment to use the funds exclusively to refinance automotive loans.
In 2013, RCI Banque will pursue its growth strategy and expand its savings business to increase its refinancing flexibility
In 2013, RCI Banque will continue to put its strategy into action: supporting business growth across all markets, controlling the cost of risk and pursuing a diversified refinancing policy backed up by deposits , which should reach €2 billion by end December.
To achieve this goal, RCI Banque will launch a savings account in Germany on February 18 operated by “Renault Bank Direkt”. Operations will be accessible online at www.renault-bank-direkt.de. The entire business is based in Germany. In addition to the savings account, term deposit accounts will be available from April.
Having successfully launched its ZESTO savings account, RCI Banque is set to expand its French savings business, with the aim of forming strong and lasting relationships with its savings customers.
With this in mind, it will offer a term deposit account to French savers. The product is designed to build loyalty among ZESTO account holders as well as attracting new savers.
In an environment in which conditions continue to differ between Europe and other countries, RCI Banque ’s aim in 2013 is to continue to strengthen the various pillars of its commercial and financial performance:
- Increasing the proportion of new financings outside Europe by growing outstanding in high-growth markets and forming local partnerships – plans are in place to enter into a joint venture with Nissan and UniCredit to offer automotive loans for the Renault, Nissan and Infiniti brands in Russia.
- Supporting all Alliance brands in the 36 countries in which RCI operates. RCI Banque supports Renault’s strategy by exclusively managing battery rental for personal and business customers in Europe. The Electric Vehicles (EV) business, which operates in 17 countries, offers a comprehensive range of services including battery rental. In 2013, this offering will be bolstered by the launch of the fourth vehicle in the EV range: ZOE.
- Developing new services to meet customer needs.
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 Number of financing contracts: includes vehicle financed for both new and used vehicles in countries falling within RCI Banque’s consolidated scope.
 Including new financing contracts for new and used vehicles across all 36 countries in which RCI operates.
 Securitization is a self-underwritten securitization transaction whose securities are held in the balance sheet of the bank securitizes