- PBT down 35% driven by investment spend, impairment methodology change and a low interest rate environment
- Total income decreased 6%, reflective of prevailing record low interest rate conditions
- 17% increase in Customer Assets, largely on the back of Corporate and SME Banking
- 10% increase in fees driven by transactional business and annuity income from insurance business
- Overall costs contained at 10% - attributable to prioritisation and investment spends
- Retail customer assets grew 7%, of which 43% is attributable to growth in secured lending
- Net Fee and Commission income improved by 10% due to increased transactional business, annuity income from the insurance business and the launch of new channels (e.g. Cash Send)
- Well capitalised at 18.1% to support anticipated growth in Corporate and Business Banking and SMEs.
Barclays Bank of Botswana is on track to deliver on the strategic objectives outlined at its annual results in February. The bank remains well capitalised and ideally positioned to support growth opportunities in its Corporate and Business Banking division. A challenging economic environment coupled with an increase in investment spend to drive the bank’s growth in Botswana saw its interim results reflect declines of 35% and 6% in Profit Before Tax and Total Income respectively. A change in the bank’s impairment methodology also had an impact on profitability for the six months ended 31 July 2014.
Reinette van der Merwe, Managing Director for Barclays Bank of Botswana, said: "We’re making good progress in our quest to become the ‘Go-To’ Bank in Botswana and we’re well placed to take advantage of growth opportunities, particularly in our Corporate and Business Banking division. I believe that we now have the right strategy and team in place to deliver the best results for our shareholders. We are wholly focused on the execution of our strategic priorities."
Barclays Bank of Botswana’s strategic focus areas include:
- Continued investment in the business to drive medium and longer-term growth and profitability including the digitisation of banking channels
- Diversification of the bank’s revenue streams with a focus on growth in the secured lending market
- Leveraging the competitive advantage of Barclays Africa’s footprint
- Rebalancing the bank’s lending portfolio
- Investing in staff training and development in Corporate and Business Banking
- Focusing on ways to enhance customer service
- Acting as a force for good within the bank’s communities
During the period under review, the bank strengthened the leadership team and all critical roles have been filled. By putting customers at the centre of everything we do, the bank has made banking more affordable for customers by making all ATM withdrawals, ATM statements and stop orders free of charge. Additionally the following innovations were introduced to enhance customer convenience:
- Cash Send launch
- Cash Accepting ATMs
- Network refurbishment
- Remote Account opening and cash deposit ATMs (To be launched before year end)
Reinette concludes: “I believe that we have established the right momentum in our business. What will set us apart from our competitors is our resilience and our ability to stay focused on our customer and clients as we deliver on becoming the bank of choice.”