Standard Chartered Bank has posted a 30 per cent increase in net profits for the six months to June despite cautious lending to the market.
The lender’s after-tax profit rose from Sh3.4 billion to Sh4.4 billion in a similar period last year even as loans shrunk by Sh1.2 billion. “Interest income on customer loans and advances declined by two per cent to Sh6.7 billion due to lower average balances coupled with the re-pricing in line with the reduction of the Central Bank Rate,” said the bank in a statement to newsrooms.
Interest income from Government securities, however, increased by 23 per cent, driven by increased investment.
Investment in Government papers rose by Sh10.5 billion during the period under review.
Non-interest income, on the other hand, increased by 12 per cent to Sh4.8 billion compared to a similar period last year driven by good growth in fees and commissions. On the funding side, the bank continued to get cheap funds from growing stock of customer deposits which stood at Sh230 billion, up from Sh224 billion in a similar period last year.
Operating expenses rose 11 per cent as the bank prioritised digital investments to improve the business through promoting efficiency and enhancing risk management.
However, the bank cut loan loss provisioning from Sh2.3 billion to Sh1.2 billion despite the increase in the size of non-performing loans which grew to Sh18 billion. The lender said the decision was a reflection of past actions to improve the risk profile of the loan book. “Overall credit quality has remained stable as the bank continues to focus on high-quality origination.”