Each year, Euromoney nominates the best banks in various parts of the world, and confers upon them the Award for Excellence in recognition of their qualities. The nomination process involves the consideration of different aspects of the bank's activities and policies, such as income from regular business activity, streamlining to reduce costs, and services offered.
In Euromoney's notes on the nomination it is stated among other things that Iceland’s post-financial crisis recovery, largely fuelled by tourism, was already cooling last year. The impact of the coronavirus on the international travel and tourism industry therefore poses particular challenges for the country’s banks.
"Iceland’s best bank, Landsbankinn, has held up better as the crisis develops, and it seems better equipped to weather difficulties than its rivals, not least thanks to its exemplary degree of efficiency. Its cost-to-income ratio in 2019 was just 43%, while the bank increased its lending to retail customers by ISK 54 billion ($390 million). It also posted an extraordinarily high common equity tier-1 ratio of 24%. The year saw Landsbankinn introduce Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay for the use of its customers. It also launched an API (application programming interface) marketplace as part of its open-banking initiatives and it rolled out self-service credit limits and overdrafts for current account clients."
Lilja Björk Einarsdóttir, Manager of Landsbankinn, states: "We are very happy that Euromoney has nominated Landsbankinn the best bank in Iceland, for the second year in a row. Our emphasis on providing financial services of the highest quality, through both powerful digital solutions as well as personal service, has resulted in increased satisfaction among our customers, which is reflected among other things by the fact that the bank was at the top of the Icelandic Satisfaction Scale. At the same time, the bank's market share has increased to such an extent that it has never been greater with regard to the consumer market. Euromoney's recognition encourages us to continue on the same path, to provide excellent service while at the same time ensuring that the bank is run in an efficient and reliable manner."