STEWARD Bank Limited narrowed its loss to $3,7 million for the six months ended August 31 2014 from a deficit of $22 million in 2013 due to extra ordinary expenditure incurred in the ongoing business model re-alignment.
Net interest income increased to $2,3 million from $3 million and operating expenditure grew to $14,6 million from $13,1 million in 2013.
In a statement accompanying the company’s unaudited abridged financial statement, Steward Bank Limited chairperson Oluwatomisin Fashina said this expenditure included costs incurred on the retrenchment of employees.
It also included impairment of property and equipment as a result of the closure of marginal bank branches.
However, Fashina said the performance was a recovery from a loss of $22 million incurred by the bank over the prior comparative period.
“From the staff rationalisation exercise disclosed in the bank’s last communication to robust performance management system that captures the entire spectrum of talent management, equitable compensation as well as training, the bank anticipates realising value from human capital initiatives undertaken in the near future,” he said.
Fashina said net interest income improved in comparison to the previous financial period in light of the achievement of better margin on lending products.
Non-interest income increased in comparison to the prior year comparative period as a result of a growth in transactional fee income.
In the period under review total assets increased by 31% to $138,7 million as at February 28 2014 and deposits from customers grew by 63% to $100,1 million from $62,1 million.
“The significant progress made in the deployment of point-of-sale infrastructure and the introduction of card products places the bank in a unique position for the promotion of a cashless economy required to counter the debilitating impact of the current liquidity crisis,” Fashina said.
“With this in mind, the bank will continue to play its part in fostering financial inclusion among the general populace as well as mobilising the much needed financing for deployment among the various sectors in the economy, particularly companies designated as SMMEs (small to medium enterprises), which are key to the resuscitation of the economy.”