Areport reaching Botswana Guardian ahead of the release of the financial results of National Development Bank (NDB), under the leadership of Lorato Morapedi, records a reduction in comprehensive loss from P87.million in March 2014 to P48. Million for the year ending 31 March 2015.
This is a 55 percent loss cut compared to the previous report. Financial experts say this is a clear sign of recovery and is mainly attributed to a reduced impairment charge compared to the previous period. Reliable sources say the results are ready and the bank has passed them to their principals and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) which is the parent ministry for further scrutiny. The MFDP will in turn pass the results to cabinet and later Parliament for final approval before being made public. Parliament’s next sitting is next month, July.
For the past few years the bank which is financed through the tax payer has been under tremendous pressure from government to perform and become profitable. Sources maintain that the turnaround strategy, adopted in 2015, has helped to change the bank’s fortunes back to profitability and operational efficiency. It said that the main focus in this plan is to focus on collecting overdue debts from defaulters in order to ease its liquidity challenges. Reliable sources indicate that the impact of the turnaround plan is within reach.
What is perhaps worth noting is the fact that the bank’s 2015 financial statements are being finalised outside the statutory period. Information reaching this paper is that the delay was due to the delayed conclusion of the 2014 financial statements, which resulted in the 2015 audit starting late. It was further revealed that the bank decided to delay the conclusion of the audit to deal with most of the outstanding data issues that were revealed by the migration to the new IT system in 2014.
Total loans and advances increased from P1.30 million in March 2014 to P1.37 million in March 2015. Owing to the suppressed world and domestic economic activity, the bank’s assets have decreased marginally by 1.7 percent from P1.57 billion as at March 2014 to P1.54 billion as at 31 March 2015. According to information reaching our publication, the bank continues to place emphasis on improving its income generation, containing costs and reducing non-performing loans to return to profitability.
An expert source indicated that various key transformational projects the bank recently embarked on such as the rebranding exercise, branch refurbishment project and improving operational excellence are a positive good building ground to prepare the bank for commercialisation and privatisation.
Speaking to this publication on the reduction of the loss, NDB CEO Lorato Morapedi confirmed that indeed the bank has significantly reduced the loss of P87 million due to concerted efforts from the Board, management and staff, but was not in a position to discuss this in detail as the financial statements were still going through the necessary statutory reporting procedure.