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FNB PROFIT INCREASES BY 71%

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MBABANE – Profit is imperative to a business as it outlines the strength of its performance and the First National Bank (FNB) of Eswatini Limited is no exception.

The bank has recorded an increase of 71.5 per cent in their profit as it hiked from E121.9 million in 2021 to E209.2 million in 2022. After-tax profits improved to E209 million in June 2022 from E125 million in 2021. This represented an improved return on equity of 19.7 per cent.This was outlined in their abridged financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2022.
FNB Eswatini also recorded an increase in assets as their assets hiked to E8.624 billion from E7.986 billion, depicting an eight per cent increase. The bank further recorded a five per cent increase for loans provided to customers as they hiked from E2.856 billion in 2021 to E2.997 billion in 2022.

The above mentioned were not the only noticeable increases in the bank’s performance, they recorded a three per cent increase in invested funds available to support new lending and another nine per cent hike in the number of active customers. Active customers accounts increased by nine per cent in the current reporting period. FNB Eswatini Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dennis Mbingo, in the statement said the bank’s audited results for June 30, 2022 showed a 79 per cent recovery in profits before tax (PBT) to E287.3 million.

recovery

He said this recovery was reflective of the greater stability from a majority of their customers, following the significant disruptions experienced in the previous two years. “Our credit stress metrics have improved over the past year. Over the same period, the Retail customer base grew by nine per cent and our commercial client base grew by eight per cent, with corporate remaining relatively unchanged,” he said.  The CEO added that the requests for working capital, property acquisition, and project development funding had been robust and the bank was encouraged by that many of these were increasingly linked with business expansion demands.

He said transactional activity had remained very strong; transactional volumes continued to show positive trends, with their online banking now handling in excess of E90 billion a year, a 16 per cent increase. “We have also made significant progress in building the CashPlus Agency business into a semi-autonomous portfolio that will challenge traditional service centres. In the year under review, registered active CashPlus agents reached a new high of 376 and increased transactional activity by 150 per cent to just under half a billion Emalangeni,” he added.
Of greater significance is that their mobile phone-based platforms (FNB App, Cellphone Banking, and CashPlus) were now processing higher transactional values than their combined branches, they said it was the first time in their history that the cellphone had outstripped branch activity.

evolved

Only two years ago, these platforms were only 36 per cent of branch traffic. This trend is consistent across other platforms like ATMs and ADTs. While we recognise that branches will be there for a long time, the changes in customer preferences suggest that branches will have to exist in a more evolved form. “Our strategic goal of fully empowering customers through a holistic self-service banking experience that is complimented by effective solution capabilities and better products is well within reach,” he added. The CEO also mentioned that despite the accelerated digitisation, every effort has been made to preserve jobs, especially in light of prevailing circumstances. He said there was increased appetite for specialist skills to complement the technology push and they expected additional hires in that area. Mbingo added that there were plans to allow the changeover to technology and specialist skills to be managed as much as possible through natural attrition, to the extent that economic conditions in the coming years accommodate this position.

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