OP is Finland's leading provider of home and corporate loans. OP's market share of home loans stood at 39.3% at the end of 2017. The market share of corporate loans rose to 38.9% as the corporate loan portfolio grew strongly.
Banking is OP's largest business segment providing customers with an extensive and comprehensive range of products and services. For private customers, OP's Banking services and products include daily banking and payment services, loans, savings, investments and housing-related services – not to mention the versatile benefits offered to our owner-customers. We seek to secure prosperity for our private customers and to promote their personal financial management and success. We want to offer our customers comprehensive banking services that are flexible and accommodating their various life situations.
We provide corporate customers with financing, payment transaction and cash management services, investment services, and expert services related to business development. OP's corporate customers range from SMEs to large corporations and institutions. We aim for long-term and total customer relationships across the board. When we know customers well and are in close interaction with them, we can customise solutions for them.
As a corporate partner, we wish to promote the success and internationalisation of Finnish business. International service capabilities being high on the agenda, we establish, for example, well-thought-out international partnerships based on the needs of our customers. In late 2017, we opened a representative office in Shanghai, China in a bid to support Finnish companies' growth and internationalisation in the Asian market.
Read more about Banking products and services at op.fi.
Take a look at the service at op-koti.fi.
OP Crowdfunding’s first investment project involved the small ice cream factory Suominen's Milk Ltd which sought capital for growth and to start exporting its organic ice cream, Jymy. The crowdfunding round was a success, as its minimum target of 200,000 euros was raised in two weeks and Jymy received the targeted number of new shareholders. The final amount raised was over 400,000 euros. OP's second crowdfunding project began in December, with the Nokia-based clothing manufacturer Papu Design, reaching the target already by the end of the year.
With the European Investment Bank (EIB), we signed an agreement on a risk-sharing guarantee facility for large and mid-sized companies. Following the agreement, we made a 300-million euro financing package available to mid-sized Finnish companies. This risk-sharing guarantee will be allocated to OP Corporate Bank's eligible mid-cap financing projects. Within two other ongoing guarantee programmes, SME InnovFin and SME Initiative, OP has already provided a total of over 180 million euros of financing for SMEs. Thanks to these programmes, we are in a strong position to support our customers' investments and growth.
Expectations of rising interest rates and concerns about securing one's finances made many of our private and corporate customers take action. Indeed, the number of interest rate protection products relative to home loans almost quadrupled from a year ago.
Additionally, 2017 was a brisk year for payment services. In the spring, we introduced the Siirto service in our OP-mobile and Pivo apps, which markedly increased phone number based payments among our customers. By now over 333,000 OP customers have registered for Siirto payments. Online and mobile payments became easier with Pivo's new feature which enables the user to pay purchases conveniently with Pivo, without key codes. In the same vein, we began a phased introduction of the Mobile key into OP-mobile.
During the year, we earned many recognitions for our products and services and were selected number one in Finland by Global Finance in its awards for the World’s Best Banks.
OP always assesses lending to customers on a holistic basis. Financing is guided by ethical principles and guidelines for lending. Regulations related to good lending practices and the recommendations of the Financial Supervisory Authority are observed in lending and related instructions.
When it comes to private customers, responsible lending is based on a thorough analysis of the customer’s debt-servicing capacity, determining the appropriate loan size and explaining the risks to the customer in an intelligible manner. In corporate customer financing, recognising and analysing the environmental impacts of financed projects is also important from the perspective of risk management, and forms part of the normal creditworthiness analysis, in addition to the assessment of financial matters. In addition to its own analysis, OP may consult an independent analyst that assesses environmental risks associated with an individual customer or a project in need for financing.