BfG Bank AG - Press Conference 2000 on annual results

Record results for 1999 Continued expansion as European e-bank Asset management considerably expanded BfG Bank: Focus on growth areas Asset management and Internet Aiming at 15% return on equity Financial statement for 1999 shows new orientation At the press conference held by BfG Bank AG in Frankfurt on 17 February 2000 to publicise the annual results, Dr. Lars H Thunell, President and CEO of SEB, explained the active expansion strategy pursued by the Swedish financial concern. Dr. Thunell said: "Nineteen ninety-nine was the year in which a numer of critical steps were taken to transform SEB from Nordic to European, from a universal bank to a Group centred around the Internet, from being product orientated to being guided by customer needs within two main customer groups - business-intensive private customers and Nordic customers." Since 1997 SEB has been concentrating on the investment market and on asset management, as well as building up its Internet banking side. The end of 2004 is planned to see a fivefold increase in the assets managed by the SEB Group and the number of Internet customers is planned to grow to five million. In the financial year just ended SEB enjoyed record results totalling EURO 877 million (previous year: EURO 423 million). Operating results reached EURO 597 million (previous year: EURO 272 million). Assets under management rose by 41 per cent or EURO 21 billion to EURO 83 billion. SEB, Dr. Thunell emphasised, is top of the international league when it comes to Internet banking. Even now 25 percent of all SEB clients in Sweden are using the Internet. This high and rising number of Internet clients - currently 380,000 in Sweden and a further 35,000 in Estonia - is already having definite effects on client business. The number of client visits to branches is declining steeply; against this background, SEB has announced the closure of some 50 branches in Sweden (out of a total of 260) in the first six months of 2000. The Internet, said Dr. Thunell, was leading not just to cost savings. Internet clients make more transactions than non-Internet clients, thus creating higher revenue. Dr. Thunell announced a new Internet initiative for Europe this year. The new Pan- European Internet bank will be starting up in Denmark at the end of March, and in Germany in the third Quarter of 2000 - the latter under the overall control of BfG Bank. ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2000/02/17/20000217BIT01110/bit0001.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2000/02/17/20000217BIT01110/bit0002.pdf

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