The euro area's economy is still growing at a slow rate and is susceptible to disruptions despite the European Central Bank's easy monetary policy and other measures taken to support economic growth. Economic growth is also expected to be weak in Finland, although exports are slowly increasing. Tension in international politics is still a significant factor of uncertainty for the Finnish economy, slowing Finland's recovery from recession.
Modest economic development combined with the tensions of international politics are weakening growth prospects in the financial sector. Historically low interest rates will erode banks’ net interest income and weaken insurance institutions’ investment income. The significance of measures that support capital adequacy and profitability is heightened by changes in the operating environment and the tightening of regulation.
Despite the challenging operating environment, OP Financial Group's earnings before taxes are expected to be equal or higher than in 2014. The greatest sources of uncertainty relate to the earnings estimate concern the effects of low interest rates, impairment losses on receivables and unfavourable changes in the investment environment.
All forward-looking statements in this report expressing the management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions are based on the current view on developments in the economy, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.