The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group has announced a 22 percent growth in profits for the year ending December 31, 2018 to Ksh.24billion.
This offset the flat growth in earnings recorded over a preceding period in 2017.
The lender whose profit after tax (PAT) remained stuck at Ksh. 19.7 billion in 2017 saw its net loans and advances soar to Ksh 456 billion in the 12 months from Ksh 423 billion with the bank’s customer deposits backing a similar trend to grow by 8 percent to Ksh 538 billion.
KCB’s hard line stance on bad loans likewise paid dividends for the group’s performance as the lender’s share of non-performing loans (NPLs) declined to 6.9 percent to steer clear of the 12 percent industry NPL average for the banking sector.
“We drew the line on bad loans within our debt stock and undertook a write-off process to liquidate collateral by debtors’ who chose not to heed to our calls for compliance. Lucky for us, most of our bad loans were held up in the corporate sector and were well collateralized,” said KCB’s Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Kimathi.
The bank continues to see opportunity in technology and digitization to scale up revenues and transactions while providing checks on operational expenses to keep costs down.
Only 12 percent of KCB’s transactions take place inside banking halls as agency and mobile banking takes precedence.
Average transactions per teller a day have come down to 71.5 from 81.9 in December 2017 with the number of transactions shrinking to 16.2 million in 2018, a far cry from the 62.1 million transactions facilitated through mobile platforms.
“Mobile transactions should now be regarded as a new norm in the industry. We continue to see the potential for revenue growth in mobile banking. The platform should soon contribute to 40 percent of all our net income,” KCB Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara said.
KCB has made considerable investments in innovation through financial technologies (FINTECHs) by for instance relaunching its KCB M-pesa platform in 2018 before partnering Safaricom and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) at the start of the year to co-operate Fuliza- an M-pesa overdraft service.
According to the KCB boss, the lender is expected to issue up to Ksh 854 billion through its scaled up mobile lending platform’s.
KCB directors have recommended a final Ksh 2.50 dividend payout to shareholders for 2018, a near three-fold jump from the interim dividend payout of Ksh. 1 per share, paid out in November for the 2017 financial year.
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