Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive Officer Mpho Masupe said they expect better performance this year as the bank realised profit before tax of P28 million in the first half of 2018 after three years of consecutive losses. “We are beginning to see the green shoots and the market is all looking positive.
We believe that we should continue with the projection that we started into the second half of the year. The results that we have achieved today are a validation that we are on the right track. We decisively took appropriate steps in response to challenges we faced during last year, and we have always ensured that prudence guides the way we do business,” said Masupe.
In the same period last year the bank recorded a loss of P66 million mainly driven by poor performance of the diamond and jewellery industry. Masupe said the bank implemented a number of portfolio rebalancing initiatives, which significantly contributed to a decrease in loan impairments.
Masupe emphasized that as a more efficient and performing business, the bank has greater confidence to implement more service and product enhancements throughout 2018, some of which have already been achieved. Speaking on technology, he said their digital capabilities, supported by their wide global network, allows the business segments a greater degree of focus, cost-efficiency, convenience and innovative market access.
“Our easy to use mobile app offers transformative banking experience to our retail clients, while our corporate clients have increased control over their banking preferences through our award winning straight2bank platform,” he said.
He also noted that as the bank looks to the second half of 2018 and beyond they have increased confidence.
“We have a business that will deliver the value that our shareholders are accustomed to. We pursue enhanced service delivery through innovation that puts the customers first. We are excited about our recently launched partnerships and remain fully committed to contribute in driving commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity.”
Presenting the results on Wednesday, Standard Chartered Bank Chief Financial Officer, Mbako Mbo highlighted that the bank recorded a marginal growth of 1.8 percent in December 2017. “Total operating expenses were eight percent down year on year as the Bank continues to tightly control costs.
The impairment charges were significantly down during the period reflecting positively on portfolio rebalancing that was implemented at the onset of the year,” said Mbo. He explained that in line with the market wide liquidity trends, customer deposits declined by five percent, with a marginal three percent decline in overall client assets.
“Driving the decline in overall client assets is a decision to reduce exposure in certain subsectors on the corporate book. However, the retail segment assets grew by five percent year on year,” he said.
Mbo, who is a former finance chief at Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), also highlighted that the rebalanced portfolio is supportive of the banks sustainable growth path. “The Bank’s balance sheet and the capital position remain strong and our costs are under control.”