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Bank of Kigali, the country’s largest lender by total assets, saw a profit of Rwf17.7 billion in the first nine months of this year, an increase of 7.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the bank’s latest performance report released yesterday.

Mpaka speaks to the media during the news conference yesterday. Photo: Sam Ngendahimana.

The bank reported a profit before tax of Rwf26.1 billion in nine months, indicating an increase of 5.1 per cent year-on-year.

Presenting the bank’s performance, Nathalie Mpaka, the chief finance officer, said the performance exceeded their expectations across all key balance sheet metrics.

“We have grown our loan book, we have grown our fees and commission, and we have good numbers in terms of expectations. Our target has in fact been exceeded. For the asset to grow by 19 per cent when the country is doing 5.2 per cent GDP projections, we are doing very well,” she noted.

The bank’s third quarter statistics indicate that the total assets stood at Rwf761.3 billion as of September 30, which represents a significant growth of 19.3 per cent year-to-date. In the same period, net loans grew by 17.3 per cent to Rwf452.6 billion.

Net fees and commission income increased by 19.5 per cent year-on-year to Rwf12 billion, while total operating income in nine months reached Rwf67.1 billion representing a growth of 13.8 per cent.

“What’s more exciting is that our customer deposits increased by 14.2 per cent in nine months compared to the sector. You have seen that others have done only 10 per cent on the customer deposits,” Mpaka said.

As of September 30, the bank served over 244,000 retail customers and over 23,000 corporate clients. It processed over one million transactions worth Rwf56.3 billion.

According to the officials, the target is to turn the bank into a digital bank, and that they have been trying to be more innovative to realise this target as they serve the customers with reliable and affordable products and services.

Speaking during the news briefing, Desire Rumanyika, BK’s chief operations officer, said the bank is making a lot of investments in trying to digitise its platforms as well as supporting the cashless economy.

“We want to invest in better systems in order to manage our costs down. More cost efficient, digital transformation and better customer experience is what we are investing in,” he said.

While financial analysts still see banks charging higher interests despite the central bank having significantly reviewed the key repo rate, Rumanyika noted that they are currently implementing a new lending policy aimed at promoting good corporate governance practices among local businesses as well as encouraging individual retail customers to build strong credit profiles that would ultimately ease their access to financing.

“We have reduced our loan yield from 17.5 per cent to 16.3 per cent but we would love to do more to push for customers’ deposits on the retail and SMEs segment. This is part of efforts to pass on to customers lower loan rates,” he said.

To maintain their leadership in the market, they are currently trying to use systems that track and monitor customer behaviours, needs and other preferences, which they say will help them come up with customised products to the clients.

The New Times