Half-year figures 2020: sustainable strategy on track; lending and profit up to standard

  • Lending to the public sector amounts to €4.1 billion (first half of 2019: €4.4 billion)

  • Impact of COVID-19 on results limited thus far; net profit is €39.4 million (first half of 2019: €41.8 million)

  • Largest sustainable bond ever issued despite difficult market conditions

  • Climate impact of loan portfolio almost completely charted

NWB Bank has kept its lending and profit up to standard during the COVID-19 crisis. In doing so, the bank has reaffirmed its ability to always provide its clients with appropriate financing, even in difficult times. Lending in the first six months amounted to €4.1 billion compared with €4.4 billion last year. Net profit for the first half of 2020 came in at €39.4 million (2019: €41.8 million). Once again, the bank did not suffer any impairment losses in the first six months, and the quality of the loan portfolio remains high. Total assets at the end of June were €115.1 billion (2019: €96.2 billion).

The sustainable water bank

NWB Bank positions itself as the sustainable water bank for the public sector. In addition to core clients such as water authorities, drinking water companies and housing associations, organisations and projects in the public sector focused on water and/or sustainability can also count on special attention from the bank. Building on this strategy, NWB Bank has reinforced its position as a key financing partner for sustainable projects in the past six months.

The bank is assuming an increasingly prominent role as a financer of the energy transition, thereby helping to achieve the goals of the National Climate Agreement, to which the bank committed itself last year. In July, the bank joined the financing consortium of Zeewolde Wind Farm. The senior loans of €470 million are refinanced by NWB Bank and credit risks are shared with the Danish export credit insurer EKF and Rabobank. From this year, the bank will also report on the climate impact of its financing. Using the PCAF methodology, it has already calculated the CO2 emissions of 93% of its loan portfolio. The next step is to draw up an action plan to diminish these emissions in accordance with the commitment to the Climate Agreement.

Leader in sustainable funding

NWB Bank managed to handle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic well on the capital markets. In April, the bank even issued its largest ever sustainable bond, a €2 billion SDG Housing Bond with a maturity of three years. Despite the challenging market conditions, the order book for this bond was well oversubscribed, allowing it to be sold at a negative effective yield. The bank also issued a US $ 500 million Water Bond in May with a 10-year maturity. In total, the bank raised €2.7 billion in sustainable long-term funding over the past six months. The total amount raised with sustainable bonds issued exceeds €13 billion. This means NWB Bank remains the largest sustainable bond issuer in the Netherlands.

For the first time in its history, NWB Bank has, because of the extraordinary low tariffs, participated in the ECB’s targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO). Thanks to ECB’s cheap funding, NWB Bank can provide even more affordable financing to its clients and keep costs for the public sector as low as possible.

Ample capital and liquidity ratios

The bank’s capital and liquidity ratios remained strong throughout the past six months. The Tier 1 ratio, including interim net profit, was 56.0% (2019: 62.6%). The decrease of the ratio is in line with the bank’s strategy, which leads to more risk-weighted lending. At 149%, the Liquidity Coverage Ratio as of the end of June was comfortably above the minimum requirement of 100%, as was the Net Stable Funding Ratio of 131% (the minimum being 100%).

As of 30 June, the leverage ratio (including profit for the current financial year) stood at 9.7%, which is lower than the ratio of 15.4% published at the end of 2019 but still well above the 3% requirement applicable as of 28 June 2021. This decrease is mainly attributable to the fact that the liquidity buffer has increased while the equity for calculating the ratio increased to a relatively limited extent. When calculating the leverage ratio, NWB Bank as promotional bank is allowed to exclude its lending to the public sector. Without this adjustment, the leverage ratio would be 2.1% (2019: 2.4%).

Cost development

NWB Bank introduced measures to be able to continue its service during these extraordinary times. This has led to higher operational costs. The bank also expects extra tax payments for the years 2020 and 2021 as a result of the introduction of the minimum capital rule for banks. This is partly compensated by a one-off windfall in relation to the resolution levy this year. As a result of the introduction of the minimum capital rule, the effective tax rate of NWB Bank will probably be higher than 50%.


The bank believes it can continue its lending in the second half of the year in much the same way as in the first. The bank expects its clients to have higher financing needs due to lagging income levels in the public sector and will continue to actively respond to this. Net profit in 2020 is expected to be at a similar level as in 2019. ​​​​​​



HEADLINE FIGURES (in millions of euros)





30 June 2020

31 December 2019

Long-term loans and advances (nominal value)1






Tier 1 capital2



Total assets



Risk-weighted assets







30 June 2020

30 June 2019

Net interest income



Result from financial transactions



Operating income



Operating expenses3



Income tax



Bank tax and resolution levy



Net profit







30 June 2020

31 December 2019

Dividend distribution



Dividend (in euros per share)







30 June 2020

31 December 2019

Tier 1 ratio2



CET 1 ratio2



Cost/income ratio3



Dividend pay-out ratio



Leverage ratio6



Leverage ratio (not adjusted for promotional assets)7



Liquidity Coverage Ratio



Net Stable Funding Ratio







30 June 2020

31 December 2019

Volume of newly issued sustainable bonds



CO2 emissions from operating activities p.p. (in tonnes)



CO2 emissions PCAF portfolio coverage (in %)



CO2 emissions loan portfolio (in kton)




1) loans including interest-bearing securities issued to local governments
2) including profit for the financial year less dividend
3) excluding bank tax, resolution levy and expected credit loss
4) 55.0 excluding profit for the current financial year (2019: 61.4)
5) 46.4 excluding profit for the current financial year (2019: 51.6)
6) including profits for the financial year, taking into account the calculation for promotional banks according to CRR II as of 27 June 2019
7) including profit for the financial year less dividend, not taking into account the calculation for promotional banks
8) based on 93% of the loan portfolio

More information?

Simon Zwagemakers
Head of Legal & Corporate Affairs / Corporate Secretary
+31 6 574 579 06
+31 70 416 62 59
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