FBC opens Beitbridge branch

FBC Bank Limited  has   opened a  new  branch in Beitbridge.

Gamma Mudarikiri
Own Correspondent

The  financial institution is stepping  up  efforts to  expand its  branch network  in the  country amid recently released impressive financial results.

Plans to open a new branch at  the border post have been pending since last year awaiting the completion of Beitbridge Rainbow hotel which was finalised last month.

Meanwhile, FBC Holdings has declared a  dividend  of  0,149 cents per share   after posting an impressive set of results to record  $10 million profit in  the first  half of the  year. The dividend is payable on September 24.

The group’s profit during the six months to June reached $10 million, representing 59% of total profits buoyed by a solid performance of its banking, building society and other key subsidiaries.

“The group’s earnings capacity continues to be buttressed by its diversified business model, with all subsidiaries except the manufacturing business, achieving results significantly higher than those achieved for the corresponding period last year,” the group said in a statement attached to its results.

FBC’s seven subsidiaries offer a wide range of financial services as well as manufacturing and construction. A conscious effort to enter underserved markets has allowed the group to navigate the tough economic waters.

In the period, total income was near flat, gaining $57 000 to $36,8 million and was weighed down by the reduction in bank charges and the subdued performance of the manufacturing unit Turnall.

Net interest income was up 5% recorded at $9,85 million up from $9,39 million last year. The group said the unavailability of adequate credit lines continues to push the cost of funding as financial institutions compete to attract limited deposits.

Fees and commissions income went up 2% to $11,5 million.
Flagship FBC Bank’s cost to income ratio dropped from 75% to 73% . Basic earnings per share rose from 1,06  cents to 1,31 cents from the same period last year.

The company said the  improvement in the cost to income ratio was due in part to the group’s ability to maintain operating expenses in line with inflation, while also decreasing staff costs through a rise in automation and electronic transactions.

Management said e-commerce would continue to be a primary focus for the group as banking makes its transition into the future.

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