By Richard Sultan
Stanbic Bank Kenya, a member of the Standard Bank Group, and the sixth largest commercial bank by assets in the East African country has registered a $35 million after-tax profit for the first half of the year 2021, a 37 percent improvement from the previous year.
The bank, which also has a subsidiary in South Sudan registered the success despite the continued challenging operating environment brought on by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, a demonstration of the solid business momentum and optimism of the various interventions the institution has put in place to sail through the different phases and related effects of the pandemic.
“We started the year by repositioning our brand through a message of hope dubbed, ‘It Can be’. This message speaks to the commitment and support that drive us to deliver on our promise. We have realigned our strategy to focus more on our customer needs through our client-centricity value proposition and providing innovative solutions that are empowering and blend in with their lifestyle.” Stanbic Bank Kenya Chief Executive, Charles Mudiwa said in a statement.
Mudiwa said that Stanbic rolled out various solutions that have improved client experience and expediency while driving scale in the main market segment. The solutions ranged from the flexibility to buy motor insurance in less than 10 minutes through the Stansure app, to real-time access to Foreign Exchange rates on mobile and digital lending on mobile apps which are also expected to contribute to the bottom line in the second half of this year.
The bank’s Chief Finance Officer, Abraham Ongenge speaking on the financial highlights, said, “the bank’s profit after tax was supported by double digit revenue growth and improved credit losses.”
“Net interest earnings grew by 9% on account of loan book growth and improved margins. The interest rates have relatively been muted with the benchmark rate maintained at 7% from last year,” Ongenge said.
In South Sudan, Mudiwa said the bank will continue to remain profitable as it maintains intermediate foreign currency flows for its clients and keep costs under control, ensuring that business continued to be transactional, and liability led.
The bank also continues to invest in digital capabilities such as Business Online and Mobile banking in the country to allow it to better serve its clients and bring down costs of operating in the country.
“The Group will continue to build its client-centricity strategy to ensure resilience, growth, and be a differentiator in order to remain competitive in this dynamic operating environment”, Mudiwa said.