Steward Bank in massive profit growth

HARARE - Steward Bank achieved a 123 percent growth in profits to $19 million during the six months ended August 31, 2018 compared to $8,5 million same period prior year.

Bernard Chidzero, the bank’s chairperson, said the double digit growth, which was recorded despite an extreme challenging environment characterised by liquidity challenges and price increases of basic commodities, and general uncertainty brought about by the election period, consolidated the bank’s growth trajectory.

“This continuous growth trajectory consolidates our rapid transformation in the past years as a lean, agile and efficient digital bank offering affordable banking solutions,” he said.

He noted that the bank’s profit before tax surged 139 percent to $27,1 million from $11,3 million registered in the comparative period the previous year.

During the period under review, net operating income registered a substantial growth, jumping 103 percent to $53,6 million up from $26,4 million prior year same period comparable.

Total assets and cash equivalents grew by 76 percent and 226 percent respectively from prior year largely driven by a 95 percent increase in customer deposits.

“Our non-interest income grew to $41,7 million, up from $24,2 million with the growth attributed to a substantial increase in the number of customers using our digital platforms and the growing strength of our transactional banking model,” Chidzero said.

Gross interest earning assets grew by 23 percent due to an increase in government instruments and current strategy to lend in strategic areas.

As a result, the prudential liquidity ratio grew 14 percent from 68 percent in prior year to 82 percent.

The Steward Bank boss further indicated that the financial services group now have the lowest non-performing loans ratio in the industry at five percent.

“Following a clean-up of our loan portfolio in the past few years, the bank managed to reduce the non-performing loans ratio to five percent from 12 percent reported same period last year,” Chidzero said.

Steward Bank is now fully integrated as part of Cassava SmartTech.

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