In 2022, Landsbankinn’s lending to businesses grew by ISK 92 billion, or by just over 14%. The increase was ISK 80 billion not having regard for the exchange rate impact, which is equivalent to 10% lending growth. There was considerable growth in vehicle and equipment financing for corporates. We remain active in the financing of residential housing, contributing to the supply of new housing in a growing community.
The Bank’s market share in corporates who submit annual financial statements was 33.1% at year-end 2022, similar to 2021. Landsbankinn's share in corporate lending is around 40%. The number of corporate customers increased by just under 2,000 in 2022, an increase we attribute mainly to our improved services for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Despite rising interest levels, we remain a strong lender in the construction market and activity in the sector is still high. We see that the export sectors are going strong, including the travel industry, yet managers are treading carefully when it comes to large investment decisions.
We support the travel sector
Economic growth in Iceland depends to a large degree on the travel sector and the impact of it regaining its footing post-pandemic in 2022 was felt by the entire economy.
The pandemic put the travel sector in a defensive position in 2020 and 2021 and we worked closely with customers who were experiencing a substantial drop in income. The solutions we offered were mainly support loans, additional loans and temporary moratoria on loan payments. Once the pandemic receded, the travel sector quickly regained its footing and as of spring 2022, international tourist numbers in Iceland attained similar levels as in 2019, the last year before the pandemic. Occupancy rates were high and use of rental cars good over the summer, with many places sold out. Most businesses were faced with having to respond to higher demand and increased tourist numbers. This called for new investments in hotels, rental cars, tour buses, entertainment, etc. We were in a position to support this new growth with loans and other services, contributing to further development in the sector.
It appears that the importance of the travel sector will grow in the coming years and that the sector will remain one of the main pillars of the Icelandic economy. We will continue to offer reliable and favourable financing to a growing sector.