By: BRIAN NGUGI
Barclays Bank Wednesday announced it had recorded a 3.2 per cent growth in profit after tax to Sh6.4 billion for the nine-month period ended 30 September, compared to Sh6.2 billion recorded in the same period last year.
The lender said the marginal growth was driven by a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in net customer assets with growth mainly coming from its retail and SME bank segments.
“Barclays has in the last nine months introduced banking solutions meant to support the growth of Kenya’s growing SME sector,” said Managing Director Jeremy Awori.
He said the initiatives and the upward review of the unsecured lending cap to Sh6 million had helped to position the bank competitively in the SME sector.
Its total interest income rose by 9 per cent to Sh18.5 billion on the back of growth in interest earning assets while net customer assets increased by 10 per cent to Sh139 billion compared to Sh126 billion in 2014.
Customer deposits, on the other hand, increased by 4 per cent to Sh159 billion compared to Sh153 billion in the same period in 2014.
Mr Awori said in a statement that turbulence at the macroeconomic level arising from fluctuation of the local currency, and high interest rates with the 91 day T-Bill reaching a high of 22 per cent in the last few weeks, had impacted on the bank’s interest expense.
Net interest income increased to Sh15.2 billion up from Sh14.7 billion in the same period last year.
It was, however, affected by a 45 per cent rise in interest expense arising from an increase in cost of funds in the market, he said.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION