The Bank, building on the effective delivery of its turnaround strategy that saw it return to profitability in 2018, accelerated on more resilient business platforms to register an overall 20% growth in profit before tax (PBT) to P33.1 million.
Greater business efficiencies realised during the period coupled to realigned cost structures enabled the business to yield a 14% overall reduction in operating costs, this despite the key investments made during the period for the major roll out of the Digital Bank. The Bank’s management strategy to secure more sustainable business portfolios saw overall client deposits grow 6%, and an overall 8% growth in the balance sheet over the 12-month period. The business foundations too have been secured with capital adequacy stable at 19.4%, and an Asset to Deposit Ratio of 63%.
Presenting the results, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Limited Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Mbako Mbo highlighted that following on from the necessary turnaround strategy, the bank was geared for growth; “Registering a successive period of profitability following previously impacted performance pays testament to the success of management’s turnaround strategy. We can now more confidently accelerate businesses knowing that they are leveraging off more resilient, sustainable and focused portfolios. Profitability is not yet at the levels that the Bank expects, but we can confidently say that the fundamentals have been secured.”
Commenting on the Bank’s performance, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mpho Masupe shared that the Bank was ready to accelerate bolder business steps; “the positive results that have been realised in our financial performance allow us to now be bolder and quicker in our roll out of products, services and enhancements to the market. We have already demonstrated this, in the first half of 2019, we have augmented our Personal Loan offering by increasing limits to a market-first of P600,000 with record levels of uptake from within the market. We further enhanced bancassurance offerings through strategic partnerships with key industry players and most prominently, we launched Botswana’s first Digital Retail Bank.
The revolutionary Digital Retail Bank accessed through the SC Mobile Botswana App has opened up our reach and created depth in demographics where we had been lagging. The Digital Bank has given prospective clients the control of opening a bank account in 15 minutes from their smart device without ever needing to step into a branch. From which, clients have access to growing platform of over 70 services, discounts through alliance partners and greatly affordable banking services. There again, market uptake has been strong and funding levels for the digital bank have been impressive. The nature of our deliberate strategy to disrupt through digital innovation means that the platforms are continually being enhanced and refined through usage with the benefits sitting in the palms of our customers both through innovation and cost of service.
Standard Chartered has been a bank of firsts in the Botswana market, and we are confident in the platform we now have to accelerate into the second half of 2019. We will be bringing even greater digital integration into all our business segments finding greater depth in products and services where our business is geared to innovate and leverage.”