The 2021 results of Crédit Agricole S.A. are historically high due to the dynamic trend in activity in all business lines and the ability to control changes in expenses. The operational agility of Crédit Agricole S.A. means that the targets of the 2022 Medium-Term Plan have been reached in 2021.
The underlying cost/income ratio(1) (excl. SRF) is 57.8% for the year, a 1.8 percentage point improvement over 2020, below the target set in the Medium-Term Plan.
(1)Underlying excluding Single Resolution Fund
Underlying net income Group share(1) is €5.4bn, an increase of 40% over 2020. This increase in income was driven by the growth in revenues, control of expenses, and a drop in the cost of risk.
(1) Excluding specific items
The cost of risk dropped significantly over the period to -€1,232m, a decline of 53% compared with -€2,606m in 2020.
(1) The cost of risk on outstandings is calculated on the basis of the cost of risk for the last four quarters divided by the average of the outstandings at the beginning of the period for the last four quarters
*Underlying RoTE (return on tangible equity) for Crédit Agricole S.A.
for payment of the 2021 dividend of €1.05 per share
The Board of Directors of Crédit Agricole S.A. will recommend to the General Meeting of 24 May 2022 a dividend of €1.05 per share for the 2021 results. The dividend of €1.05 represents €0.85 per share for the policy to distribute 50% of net income and €0.20 per share for the continued catch-up on the 2019 dividend (on €0.40). The remaining €0.20 from 2019 will be paid as for the dividend for financial year 2022.
2021 will be remembered as a year synonymous with recovery following a year in 2020 that will remain in our memories as an unexpected year, a year that not only called into question everything we took for granted (health safety, the free movement of persons, the rule of free trade, etc.) but also exacerbated already rising uncertainties.
2021 also brought its share of comforting evidence: the role of the State as planner and arbiter of the common good, the ability to rebound of most of the economic stakeholders, the existence of local and human networks and exchange, and the widely prevailing shared values of benevolence and caring for others.
Moreover, in this context, the Group demonstrated its ability to launch a recovery by posting improved results with, in addition, a positive momentum and a return to growth.
The Group’s revenues therefore continue to grow, along with its cost control.
In 2021, more than ever, the Group’s strength was placed in the service of customers and society, with the Group’s full participation in the effort to relaunch the economy and support corporate or small business customer affected by the crisis.
Its solid financial position is a strength in the current context of global geopolitical instability.
At 31 December 2021, the solvency level of the Group remained very high, with a phased Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 17.5%, up 0.3 percentage point from end-December 2020. The Group benefits from a comfortable 8.6 percentage point margin between the level of its CET1 ratio at 31 December 2021 and the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) requirement set at 8.9% by the regulator. Likewise for Crédit Agricole S.A., the phased CET1 ratio stood at 11.9% at 31 December 2021, greater than the SREP regulatory requirement of 4 percentage points. The ratio integrates the impact of the dividend payment of €1.05 per share for 2021.
The liquidity analysis is conducted on Crédit Agricole Group scale. The Group’s liquidity reserves, at market value and after haircuts, totalled €465bn at 31 December 2021, an increase of €27bn over 31 December 2020. They cover short-term debt 4x over (excluding the replacements with Central Banks).
At 31/12/2021, the fully loaded CET1 ratio of Crédit Agricole Group was 17.5% and that of Crédit Agricole S.A. was 11.9%.
In terms of solvency, Crédit Agricole Group is best-in-class among comparable European banks, with a phased-in CET1 ratio of 17.5% at 31 December 2021. This greatly exceeds the minimum regulatory requirements (8.9% at 31/12/2021). In accordance with the French Monetary and Financial Code, Crédit Agricole S.A., as the corporate centre of the Crédit Agricole network, is responsible for taking all necessary measures to ensure the solvency and liquidity of each member of the Crédit Agricole network, chief among them the Regional Banks and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB). Crédit Agricole S.A. also acts as the central bank for the Regional Banks and in this capacity can intervene when refinancing is necessary.