CWB reports second quarter 2023 performance

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EDMONTON, AB, – Business – CWB Financial Group (TSX: CWB) (CWB) announced financial performance for the three and six months ended April 30, 2023. Quarterly common shareholders’ net income of $70 million was down 26% and adjusted earnings per share (EPS)(1) of $0.74 was down 27% from last quarter, primarily reflecting a 21 basis point increase in the provision for credit losses as a percentage of average loans(1), the impact of three fewer interest-earning days and a six basis point decrease in net interest margin(1). The prior quarter results reflected the reversal of a previously recognized impaired loan write-off, which drove a net recovery of credit losses and the recognition of additional interest income that provided a three basis point increase to net interest margin. The provision for credit losses of 12 basis points this quarter remained below our five-year historical average, and reflected continued strong credit performance.

Our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.33 per common share, up one cent, or 3%, from the dividend declared last quarter and up two cents, or 6%, from last year.

“The strength and stability of our organization enabled us to navigate the significant volatility in the global banking industry this quarter. Subsequent to the emergence of these events, we grew branch-raised deposits(1), continued to maintain prudent levels of liquidity, and increased our regulatory capital ratios with no use of the at-the-market (ATM) program this quarter,” said Chris Fowler, President and CEO. “We drove solid loan growth across our national footprint, with especially strong growth in Ontario and general commercial loans, and delivered another quarter of low credit losses.”

“Based on our assessment of market pricing relative to risk and considering the expected volatility in economic conditions, we have targeted lower annual loan growth than previously expected. We are well positioned to capitalize on opportunities to accelerate new client growth when conditions improve, as we have in past periods of economic volatility. While we do not expect to achieve our annual pre-tax, pre-provision income(1) and efficiency ratio(1) targets for this year, we are adjusting our expense trajectory to align to the lower loan growth outlook and deliver an annual adjusted return on equity(1) in line with our 2023 target.”

“We continue to earn national recognition for our commitment to a people first culture and are very proud that for the second consecutive year CWB placed within the top 25 on this year’s Best Workplaces™ in Canada. We thank our teams for their continued dedication and focus to make CWB the best bank for business owners in Canada.”

(1) 

Adjusted EPS, the provision for credit losses on total loans as a percentage of average loans, net interest margin, branch-raised deposits, pre-tax, pre-provision income, efficiency ratio and adjusted return on equity are non-GAAP measures. Refer to definitions and detail provided on page 6.

Financial Performance

Q2 2023,
compared to
Q1 2023

Common shareholders’ net income

$70 million

Down 26%

Diluted EPS

Adjusted EPS

$0.73

$0.74

Down 26%

Down 27%

Adjusted Return on Equity (ROE)

8.9 %

Down 310 bp

Efficiency ratio

55.3 %

Up 260 bp

 bp – basis point

Compared to the prior quarter, lower common shareholders’ net income was primarily driven by a 21 basis point increase in the total provision for credit losses as a percentage of average loans and a 3% decline in revenue. Pre-tax, pre-provision income(1) decreased 8%.

Lower revenue reflected a 5% decrease in net interest income, partially offset by an 11% increase in non-interest income. Higher non-interest income was primarily due to an increase in foreign exchange revenue recorded within ‘other’ non-interest income, reflective of a strengthening U.S. dollar in the quarter. Net interest income decreased compared to last quarter as 2% sequential loan growth was more than offset by three fewer interest-earning days and a six basis point decrease in net interest margin. Net interest margin was lower primarily due to a three basis point interest income recovery recorded in the prior quarter related to the reversal of a previously recognized impaired loan. The remaining decline in net interest margin was primarily due to lower loan related fees and strategic pricing adjustments to certain administered rate deposit products. As expected, the impact on net interest margin from higher fixed rate deposit costs continued to decline this quarter, and was offset by the benefit from repricing fixed rate loans at higher market interest rates.

Non-interest expenses were well-contained and increased 1%, primarily driven by the seasonal increase in statutory employee benefits.

The provision for credit losses on total loans as a percentage of average loans represented 12 basis points this quarter and was 21 basis points higher than last quarter. The impaired loan provision of 12 basis points remained below our historical five-year average of 19 basis points, but increased 24 basis points from the net recovery of 12 basis point last quarter. The previous quarter impaired loan provision included the impact of the reversal of a previously recognized impaired loan write-off. A nil performing loan provision in the quarter was three basis points lower than last quarter.

We recognized a 20 basis point increase to our Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio this quarter, reflecting the adoption of the Capital Adequacy Requirements (CAR) 2023 guidelines effective February 1, 2023 and lower accumulated other comprehensive losses related to a reversal of previously recognized unrealized losses on our debt securities portfolio. No common shares were issued under the ATM equity distribution program this quarter.

Q2 2023,
compared to
Q2 2022

Common shareholders’ net income

$70 million

Down 6%

Diluted EPS

Adjusted EPS

$0.73

$0.74

Down 11%

Down 12%

Adjusted ROE

8.9 %

Down 140 bp

Efficiency ratio

55.3 %

Up 160 bp

 bp – basis point

Common shareholders’ net income decreased compared to the same quarter last year as a 2% increase in revenue was more than offset by a 5% increase in non-interest expenses. Pre-tax, pre-provision income decreased 1%.

Higher revenue reflected a 2% increase in net interest income and a 4% increase in non-interest income. The increase in net interest income was primarily due to the benefit of 9% annual loan growth, partially offset by a 16 basis point decrease in net interest margin. The decline in net interest margin reflects the impact of lower loan related fees, including payout penalties, a proportional shift in our funding mix towards fixed term branch-raised and insured broker deposits, and fixed rate asset yields that have lagged the growth of fixed rate deposit costs through the rising interest rate environment. Our fixed term deposit portfolio has repriced faster to reflect higher market interest rates than our fixed term loans, which have a longer average duration. Loan yields have also been slower to reflect the changes in market interest rates due to higher levels of competition for new lending. The decline in net interest margin was partially offset by the net positive impact of rising Bank of Canada policy interest rates on our floating rate loans and deposits.

Non-interest expenses were up 5% from the prior year, primarily driven by higher people costs related to the impact of salary increments in the prior year and a higher staffing complement, including in the Ontario market to support our continued expansion.

The provision for credit losses on total loans as a percentage of average loans was two basis points lower than the same quarter last year due to a decline in the provision for credit losses on impaired loans.

YTD 2023,
compared to
YTD 2022

Common shareholders’ net income

$164 million

Up 2%

Diluted EPS

Adjusted EPS

$1.72

$1.76

Down 4%

Down 4%

Adjusted ROE

10.4 %

Down 70 bp

Efficiency ratio

54.0 %

Up 300 bp

 bp – basis point

Common shareholders’ net income increased compared to last year as an 11 basis point decline in the total provision for credit losses and 2% growth in revenue more than offset higher non-interest expenses. Pre-tax, pre-provision income decreased 4%.

Total revenue increased 2%, reflecting a 3% increase in net interest income, partially offset by a 2% decrease in non-interest income. Net interest income increased from the prior year as 9% annual loan growth was partially offset by a 15 basis point decrease in net interest margin.

Non-interest expenses were up 8%, driven by higher people costs due to the same factors as noted in the comparison to the same quarter last year and our continued investment in our digital capabilities.

The total provision for credit losses as a percentage of average loans of one basis point was 11 basis points lower than the prior year, due to a 14 basis point decrease in the impaired loan provision, partially offset by a three basis point increase in the performing loan provision. The lower impaired loan provision primarily reflects the reversal of a previously recognized impaired loan write-off recorded in the first quarter of this year.

Financial Targets

The financial targets outlined below reflect key financial objectives we expected to drive on the assumption of relatively stable economic conditions and under the Standardized approach for capital management.

Annual Metrics

Performance Target

Pre-tax pre-provision income growth

Greater than 10%

Adjusted ROE

10-11% in 2023, 12% by 2024

Efficiency ratio

Less than 50%

Economic and financial market conditions have been volatile over the past quarter. As described further in the Outlook section of our 2023 Second Quarter Management Discussion and Analysis, based on our assessment of market pricing relative to risk and considering the expected volatility in economic conditions, we have targeted lower annual loan growth than previously expected. Given a lower outlook for loan growth, we no longer expect to achieve our annual pre-tax, pre-provision income and efficiency ratio performance targets for fiscal 2023. We continue to expect to deliver annual adjusted ROE in line with our 2023 performance target, supported by lower than expected credit losses and management of non-interest expenses reflecting our expectation of lower loan growth.

We will provide our 2024 outlook in our 2023 Annual Management Discussion and Analysis, reflecting the expected economic conditions at that time.

About CWB Financial Group

CWB Financial Group (CWB) is the only full-service bank in Canada with a strategic focus to meet the unique financial needs of businesses and their owners. We provide our nation-wide clients with full-service business and personal banking, specialized financing, comprehensive wealth management offerings, and trust services. Clients choose CWB for a differentiated level of service through specialized expertise, customized solutions, and faster response times relative to the competition. Our people take the time to understand our clients and their business, and work as a united team to provide holistic solutions and advice.

As a public company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), CWB trades under the symbols “CWB” (common shares), “CWB.PR.B” (Series 5 preferred shares) and “CWB.PR.D” (Series 9 preferred shares). We are firmly committed to the responsible creation of value for all our stakeholders and our approach to sustainability will support our continued success. Learn more at www.cwb.com.

Fiscal 2023 Second Quarter Results Conference Call

CWB’s second quarter results conference call is scheduled for Friday, May 26, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. MT). CWB’s executives will comment on financial results and respond to questions from analysts.

The conference call may be accessed on a listen-only basis by dialing (416) 764-8688 (Toronto) or 1 (888) 390-0546 (toll-free) and entering passcode: 07376453. The call will also be webcast live on CWB’s website:

www.cwb.com/investor-relations/quarterly-reports.

A replay of the conference call will be available until June 2, 2023 by dialing (416) 764-8677 (Toronto) or 1 (888) 390-0541 (toll-free) and entering passcode: 376453#.

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