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Barclays Kenya 2014 pre-tax profit rises 10pc

BUSINESS
By Frankline Sunday | March 7th 2015

Barclays Bank of Kenya said pretax profit rose 10 per cent to Sh12.3 billion in 2014, largely driven by growth in net interest income and lower costs.

The lender saw its net income rise to Sh8.39 billion in the 12 months through December 31, 2014 from Sh7.62 billion a year earlier. The bank attributes this to diversification of its product offering.

“We have dedicated a significant portion of resources over the past two years towards improving our systems and diversifying our product portfolio in order to provide end-to-end financial solutions and enhance our customer experience,” said Jeremy Awori, Barclays Bank of Kenya’s managing director.

The bank said net interest income rose four per cent to Sh19.6 billion but its impact was curbed by a drop in non-interest income. The lender saw operating costs fall six per cent to Sh14.6 billion. Its cost-to-income ratio fell to 52 per cent from 53 per cent a year earlier.

Mr Awori said the bank was increasing its presence in markets it traditionally had little or no presence as a result of demand from consumers. “We recently launched our mortgage centre, which is essentially a one stop shop for everything to do with mortgages because we realised that our clients were asking about this service,” he said.

“Similarly, we are increasing our involvement with SMEs and our product offering in this segment because there is significant opportunity for growth in this market.”

Bancassurance

Barclays, which is the fifth largest commercial bank in the country has for a long time, maintained its traditional business model even as other lenders made drastic changes including adopting agency banking and moving downstream.

However, the bank now seems to be repositioning itself to play a larger role in the country’s growing financial sector with new offerings already launched in the market. “We have introduced new revenue generating streams such as bancassurance, SME banking and fixed income trading,” explained Mr Awori.

“In addition to this, we have also increased our activity in investment banking, stock brokerage and revamped existing businesses such as our mortgage offering and asset based financing to support future growth,” he added.

The bank’s board is recommending a payment of a final dividend of Sh1 per share.

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