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The year 2015 was, for Banque PSA Finance, that of its transformation. After primarily organic growth since its inception, Banque PSA Finance has made an important step forward, by implementing in Europe, its principal market, a new operational model based upon partnerships, illustrated by the agreement entered into with the Santander group, one of the leading banking player in Europe.

The Cooperation Agreement was signed in 2014, and its operational start-up took place in February 2015, with, to begin with, the launching of joint operations in France and in the United Kingdom.

Following this, joint ventures were also created in 2015 in Spain and in Switzerland, a commercial agreement in Portugal started up, and joint companies for our Insurance operations were formed in Malta. Cooperation will continue to be rolled out in 2016, with the start-up of Italy in early January and of the Netherlands in early February, then, over the course of 2016, that of the last four European countries set out by the agreement.

A new joint governance adapted to this new cooperation is being put into place, through central and local steering committees.

The adding-on of the forces and competencies of Groupe PSA Peugeot Citroën, the second largest European automobile manufacturer, and of Groupe Santander, the top group in terms of market capitalization in the banking sector in Europe, will enable Banque PSA Finance to benefit from a better positioning of its product offering, in order to ensure more effectively its mission to support sales in Europe of the three Groupe PSA Peugeot Citroën trademarks.

The initial results, particularly positive and encouraging for the future, were recorded in France and in the United Kingdom, with an increase of 23,700 financing files, as compared to 2014.

This partnership, an essential lever for the "Back in the Race" plan launched in April 2014 by Carlos Tavares, actively contributed to the success of Groupe PSA Peugeot Citroën's recovery plan.

In Latin America, with this same strategic objective of support for the sales of our brands, another agreement was signed in July 2015 with Groupe Santander in order to create a joint company in Brazil. Its operations will start up there also over the course of the first half of 2016.

In this new climate, and in a particularly dynamic automobile market in Europe, Banque PSA Finance improved all of its results, in terms of commercial performance and profitability.

In the 23 countries where it operates, Banque PSA Finance saw all of its commercial operations grow : excluding China, the number of new vehicle financings increased by 4.85%, with 576,000 contracts, while that for used vehicles increased by 2.80%, with 156,000 contracts. Even more significant is the change in the amount of total new financing for end users, rising by 9.5% to €8.25 billion, owing to the move upmarket of the product mix of the sales of the three brands and the ability of the Bank to grow the proportion of financing on vehicle sales.

This commercial performance resulted from an overall increase in Groupe PSA's sales within the Bank's scope of operation, but also from an increase in the commercial performance of our teams, which has made it possible to achieve a penetration rate of 29.9% in sales of new vehicles, an historic record for BPF. Just as historic are the results from sales of our insurance and services products, which have grown by 7.2% and have reached, for the first time, two symbolic thresholds: over 1,500,000 new contracts sold with over two insurance and services contracts per financing contract.

In 2015, the commercial operations of Banque PSA Finance recorded varying results, depending on its main operating zones, thus following the trend of the markets and sales of the Groupe PSA Peugeot Citroën brands: compared to 2014, and in volumes, the European zone has increased by 8.1% for the new vehicle financing portion; Latin America has decreased by 24%. China has recorded excellent results, owing to penetration which went from 16.2% in 2014 to 21.1% in 2015, thereby confirming its new vehicle financing growth, with an increase of 31.4% in its volumes.

This commercial performance has made possible an inversion of the trend of our outstanding loans, which had notably decreased in 2014, to increase again by 1.5% to €21.3 billion at December 31, 2015.

These results were not achieved to the detriment of the profitability of operations. Net banking revenue (IFRS 8 format) was at its highest, at €1,065 million, an increase of 25.1% compared to 2014. The cost of risk was at its best historic level, at 0.33% of outstanding loans.

In 2015, the commercial dynamic associated with its stringent management made it possible for Banque PSA Finance to generate recurring operating income of €514 million (IFRS 8 format), a significant increase of 52.5%.

All while continuing to advance in its traditional operations of accompaniment to the Group's brands in their development zones, the Bank must address the numerous challenges which are appearing in an accelerated manner owing to the emergence of new consumer behaviors. In particular, the long-proclaimed demand for mobility has now become part of reality. In order to meet the demand, Banque PSA Finance will be designing and offering, while working closely with PSA, innovative and flexible solutions, utilizing new technologies, in order to respond to our clients' expectations for new mobilities.

After the success of the "Back in the Race" plan, Banque PSA Finance, consistent with its primary mission as a supplier of mobility, is there to support the future strategic growth plan of Groupe PSA Peugeot Citroën.

Remy BAYLE, Chief Executive Officer of  Banque PSA Finance