Standard Chartered Bank has reported a dip in profit after tax by 42% from Shs124bn in 2019 to Shs72bn in 2020, according to its financial results released on Apr.29.
Overall total income reduced from Shs461bn to Shs429bn as total expenditure surged by 10% to Shs339bn during the same period under review.
The increase in expenses was largely caused by a spike in interest expense on deposits and personal expenses, which grew from Shs66bn to Shs74bn in the period under review.
Albert Saltson, the lender's chief executive officer, however, said the bank delivered a resilient and competitive performance for the year given that customer deposits went up 27.1% to Shs2.7tn as assets grew 21.5% to Shs3.8tn.
"Our performance remained buoyant in the face of the extraordinary challenges posed by the pandemic and associated economic contraction," Saltson said.
He said the Bank made good progress on strategic initiatives and financial performance.
Meanwhile, interest on loans and advances reduced from Shs257bn in 2019 to Shs204bn. Interest on deposits and placements reduced from Shs21bn to Shs18bn. This was the same trend for fees and commission income that declined from Shs44bn to Shs40bn.
On a positive, interest from investment securities increased from Shs95bn in 2019 to Shs113bn in 2020 and, foreign exchange income increased from Shs31bn to Shs38bn.
Additionally, non-performing loans and other assets reduced from Shs23bn to Shs22bn in the period under review.
The Bank recorded a jump in capital (core) - from Shs530bn in 2019 to Shs570bn in 2020 - giving it a stable base to go about its lending and related business in an economy that is battling the negative impact caused by COVID-19.
Going forward, Saltson said, he was fully confident that the foundations they have built would help deliver strategic priorities and further strengthen client proposition and performance.
In 2020, he said, the Bank continued to take significant steps to reshape its business and focused on supporting its employees, communities and clients leveraging digital channels.
The Bank also did a lot in terms of deep engagements with affluent clients, tight risk management and 'cost control'.
They also improved productivity and continued to leverage global network to support clients.
The Bank also engaged in partnerships in fighting financial crime and striving to continuously achieve the highest standards of conduct, consistent with its brand promise - here for good.
Kelvin Musana, the Bank's chief financial officer, said with significant investments in technology, prudent cost and risk controls as well as robust systems, they remain optimistic, solid, competitive and are on the right track to achieve positive performance going ahead.
"Although we still have some way to go in an environment that is still uncertain, we expect to come out of 2021 with better momentum," Musana said.
Executives said, customer usage of digital platforms grew significantly in 2020 with digital transactions and mobile wallet transfers registering growth of 34% and 94% in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Clients continued accessing up to 70 common services via the Bank's SC mobile App with 64% of these being processed straight through with no human intervention.
Godfrey Sebaana, the head of corporate, commercial and institutional banking said, the Bank's corporate and institutional banking business in 2020 continued to build capacity to serve the global subsidiaries, institutional service providers as well offer banking and financing solutions to institutional and corporate clients' employees.
Sebaana said, in 2020, the Bank participated in financing key development programs to promote import substitution such as industrial hubs and parks and provided sovereign solutions to finance key projects particularly for the infrastructure, water and energy sectors.
The Bank recorded an increase in the adoption of digital channels with close to 90% of its clients migrating their transactions to its straight2Bank digital platform.
"As a progressive business that is client centric, we will continue adopting new skills and a new mind set and we are designing targeted interventions that meet our clients' current and future needs," he said.
Sebaana added that the overriding objective for the Bank going ahead is about provision of bespoke financial services to clients with focus on trade finance, cash management, financial markets and corporate finance.
During the year, the Bank focused on providing immediate emergency relief for communities as well as supporting the economic recovery by making relief donations that grossed Shs1.6bn through six NGOs.
The NGOs included; Uganda Red cross, United Nations Children's Fund, Child Fund International, Straight Talk Foundation, BRAC Uganda and YouBelong to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
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