NMBZ Holdings expects its 2018 performance to be even better than last year’s, its chief executive, Mr Ben Washaya, told the group’s annual general meeting last Thursday (May 24).
He said already the operating income for the first four months of this year, which stood at $19,2 million, was up by 53 percent compared to the same period last year.
Net interest income and non-interest income for the four months increased by 30 percent and 83 percent respectively compared to the same period last year.
“The increase in net interest income was driven by the 18 percent jump in interest income and a 13 percent reduction in interest expenses.
“The 83 percent increase in non-interest income resulted largely from increased transactional revenues due to an increase in the number of accounts and the migration of transactional activities on the digital platform,” Mr Washaya said.
“Performance recorded in the first four months to 30 April 2018 is commensurate with the increase in the digital banking income,” he added.
NMBZ board chairman Benedict Chikwanha said the results produced in the first four months of the year were encouraging.
“As a board we believe we need to move with speed to do a lot on the digitalisation of our processes.
“We have put new resources in that area to look at digital banking because people no longer want to come to the bank and be given a form to fill in to open an account. It is archaic,” he said.
Mr Washaya said the NPL ratio had reduced to 6,62% as at 30 April this year from 12,82% at 30 April 2017 due to aggressive collections.
“We are confident that we will achieve our target of five percent by 31 December 2018,” he said.
He said completion of the upgrade of the bank’s core banking system in February 2018, coupled with the upgrade of other electronic channels, had resulted in a significant improvement in the processing capacity of its systems and an enhanced customer experience.
The bank had also been deploying point of sale (POS) machines and mobile point of sale (mPOS) machines, which were cheaper. All of this had led to an increase in digital banking income compared to the same period last year.
“We are also on a nationwide blitz to open accounts and are happy with the response so far,” Mr Washaya said.
He reported that the bank had recently opened a sub-branch in Bindura to serve the Mashonaland Central region.
NMBZ also recently secured the services of a German Bank, ODDO BHF as its new correspondent bank, which Mr Washaya said would benefit both its importing and exporting customers.
He said it has also started construction of its own head office in Borrowdale.