Swedbank ‘ready to meet whatever’s coming’ as profits rise 24%

Swedbank's chief executive says the bank is poised to handle the uncertainty of increased regulation as it Thursday posted a 24 percent increase in profits for the full-year 2016.

Birgette Bonnesen told CNBC that much remains unclear about the forthcoming implementation of Basel IV, a new package on international regulation to standardize capital reserves in a bid to prevent future financial crises, but said the Nordic-Baltic bank is in a "comfortable, strong position."

"We are ready to meet whatever's coming," she said.

Swedbank reported profits of 19.5 billion Swedish crowns ($2.2 billion) for the full year 2016, up from 15.7 billion crowns ($1.7 billion) recorded in 2015.

Fourth-quarter net profits came in slightly higher than expected, reaching 4.15 billion crowns versus analysts' expectations of 4.1 billion crowns.

The boost has prompted the bank to propose raising its dividend to 13.2 crowns per share from 10.7 crowns in 2015.

"This quarter and this year we had really good cost efficiency and we maintain a low-risk balance sheet – that's a really strong message, I think, for a bank today," Bonnesen said.