Gain new clients, greater digitalization and improve your solvency. These are some of the main objectives included in Ibercaja Banco’s new strategic plan for 2024-2026 presented this Saturday in Zaragoza. A roadmap that aspires to repeat the benefits of 300 million euros from the previous plan but without being listed, at least for the moment, on the stock market.

Ibercaja had a legal obligation to go on the stock market due to the 2013 Savings Bank Law or to provide a reserve fund through its foundation. “A year and a half ago it was decided to establish this fund,” explained the president of the entity, Francisco Serrano, who highlighted that the 320 million euros necessary to complete it have arrived long before the legal deadline, set for December 2025.

Now, that IPO is no longer an obligation, and Serrano stressed that “it is not contemplated” in the new plan. Of course, he stressed that it is not something that can be ruled out either, “because there can always be an opportunity.”

The president also referred to the instability that exists today, both internationally (Ukraine, Gaza, Red Sea) and in the national political arena. In this sense, he regretted the “instability, fragmentation and polarization” recorded in recent years, something that, he warned, “is not a good breeding ground for investing.”

Even so, he acknowledged that the entity he presides is going through “a sweet moment, the best in its recent history.” In fact, the entity closed the previous 2021-2023 plan with record profits of 304 million euros (67% compared to the previous year), mostly coming from traditional and recurring banking, a figure that the new plan aspires to repeat.

For his part, the CEO, Víctor Iglesias, pointed out that the objective of the new plan is to close with a ROTE (profitability) greater than 10%, when in 2023 they closed at 11.6%. In their opinion, it will be “more meritorious” to achieve that 10%, given that “last year was exceptional due to the rate increase since mid-2022”, since those same rates are going to begin to fall (they estimate that at the end of the year will be at 3% compared to the current 4.5%)

Among the main objectives for this three-year period, the entity also highlights the advancement of solvency, with a fully loaded CET1 capital, the highest quality, between 13.5% and 14%. That is, an improvement compared to the 12.7% it had at the end of last year.

On the other hand, in terms of liquidity, it expects to complete the plan years with an LCR of more than 190% and with a non-performing asset rate of less than 3.5%. “Non-payments may increase somewhat both in families and in companies,” said Iglesias.

Regarding clients, Ibercaja has set the objective of registering an increase in the base of clients known as “committed” of 10% in the next three years. In practice, this would mean around 50,000 new individual clients, 6,000 business clients and around 2,000 from SMEs and large companies. A growth that will focus on Madrid and the Mediterranean arc, while strengthening its commercial leadership in Aragón, La Rioja, Guadalajara, Burgos and Badajoz.

“It is going to be a plan to boost business growth, with a clear commitment to attracting and increasing our committed customer base,” Iglesias said.

The Strategic Plan, based on 13 initiatives (divided between Client and Resilience), is endowed with a specific budget of 45 million euros for this year which, added to the resources provided for in the regular budget, total 110 million euros of investment for this year, of which more than half will be allocated to technological, operational and commercial transformation. Regarding personnel, they estimate to continue with the line of the previous year and make around 150-200 new permanent incorporations of different profiles.

“We have a challenging and exciting future ahead of us, which we face with strength, maximum confidence in ourselves and with a very well-defined roadmap,” Iglesias concluded.