Barclays Bank of Botswana has recorded a P558 million profit before tax for the year ended 31st December 2017, compared to the P494 million recorded the previous year.
“This profitability represents a year-on-year growth in performance of 13% in comparison to the profit in the previous year. Our total income registered a decrease of 1% year-on-year. This is as a result of low economic growth and low interest rates, as a result of interest rate cuts in August 2016 (by 50 basis points) and October 2017 (by 50 basis points). These cuts are as a result of the Central Bank moving towards stimulating economic growth through the increase of access to credit,” the bank said in a statement.
It said while its Retail and Business Banking segment remained resilient amid these challenges, “our Corporate and Investment Banking was impacted by the loss of a key mining client at the end of 2016 and depressed corporate margins that are competitor driven in the foreign exchange trading environment”.
Reinette van der Merwe, the Managing Director of Barclays Bank said: “We believe that we are woven into the fabric of our society. We see ourselves fundamentally as enablers: helping individuals, businesses and society, which is why we have defined our purpose as ‘bringing possibilities to life’”.
Barclays’ focus will be on optimizing its balance sheet, while focusing on revenue generating opportunities. Operating costs, it says, remain well contained, rising four percent in line with the inflation average of 3.3% for 2017 and the bank continues to invest in its business. “Our overall cost to income ratio was 52% for the reporting period, which is below the banking industry market average of 59.5%. Prudence in incurring operating expenditure continues to be at the heart of our strategic agenda, as we look to grow our business,” the statement said.