Fellow Bank is through its new operating model in a better position to accelerate growth and compete in new customer sub-segments. 2022 will be heavily affected by the transition but will set a foundation for clear growth and profitability improvements. We initiate coverage of Fellow Bank with a HOLD-rating and TP of EUR 0.42.
Digital bank focused on own balance sheet lending
Fellow Bank is a digital bank providing lending and banking and financial services to individuals and SME’s and offering savers a return on their deposits. Through a recent merger, the company is shifting towards lending from its own balance sheet, having been established as an international marketplace lending platform. The new operating model and cheaper form of funding in our view offers additional growth potential and improves the company’s competitiveness, which opens up potential to target new customer sub-segments.
Seeking over 25% annual growth of loan portfolio
The company’s financial targets for 2022-2026 are: annual growth of more than 25% of the loan portfolio, a return on equity of more than 15% by the end of the target period and a capital adequacy ratio of at least 18% (T1). 2022 will be a tougher year financially due to exceptional costs relating to the merger and the build up the company’s loan book. We expect the company’s financials to turn on a clearly more favourable path in 2023 with the buildup of the loan book and further new growth. We expect profitability to pick-up during 2023-2024 with the growth and scalability of the operating model and expect the ROE to improve to 13.2% by 2024.
HOLD-rating with a target price of EUR 0.42
We initiate coverage of Fellow Bank with a target price of EUR 0.42 and HOLD-rating. Valuation is currently rather stretched when comparing with peers. Fellow Bank is however still in the early stages of its planned growth phase and the near-term potential for rapid growth in our view presents a justifiable reason to stay along for the early stages of the company’s growth story.
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