STEWARD Bank, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless, has reported a profit before tax of $8.4 million for the year ended February 29, 2017 a 36 percent growth compared to a $6.2 million reported in the comparative period last year.
Econet Wireless took over the bank, then TN Bank, from former Econet chairman Tawanda Nyambirai. The mobile operator had first acquired a 45 percent stake in 2012, before taking over the remaining shareholding in 2013.
Steward Bank reported a 24 percent rise in operating income to $30.1 million compared to $24.3 million the previous year.
The bank recorded an increase in transactional volumes that resulted in a 49 percent increase in non-funded income to $28 million from $19 million in the prior year.
Total deposits also grew by 56 percent to $144.6 million from $92.6 million recorded in the prior year as a result of an increase in individual deposits while loan and advances to customers declined by 6.6 percent to $52.6 million from $56.3 million due to cautious lending. The increase in deposits has been attributed to the popularity of new products such as “Isave Account” and the “zama zama” account for small scale businesses.
Steward bank’s capital adequacy ratio increased to 45 percent from 37 percent, against the RBZ minimum requirement of 12 percent.
In a statement chief executive Lance Mambondiani said, “In an increasingly volatile and uncertain economic environment, the board has taken the decision to be conservative in lending, which is reflected in our liquidity ratio and loan-to-deposit ratio,”
Total assets increased by 34 percent to $226,1 million from $168,7 million primarily on the back of an increase in cash and cash equivalents.
The bank had accumulated losses of $35,2 million as at the close of the year.
Steward bank reduced its debt considerably by 92 percent to $280,000 from $3,6 million recorded in the same period last year.