Barclays Bank says it has resorted to a more cautious view with respect to lending to various sectors, a move that contributed to the stagnant position in customer loans and advances. Presenting the company financial results this week Thursday, the bank’s Finance Director Mumba Kalifungwa said on segment they continue to realise exponential growth in its business banking segment which is continuously outperforming expectations on annual basis. The retail segment, on the other hand, remained unchanged due to the cautious approach in lending. Kalifungwa said they have also begun seeing a steady build-up in momentum for corporate business as they started converting new business in the third quarter of the year in various key sectors of the bank operations. The bank was announcing its half year financial results for the period ended 30 June 2017 in which it achieved overall Profit before Tax (PBT) of P249 million which came on the backdrop of a 24 percent decline in banking profitability as at June 2017 compared to the same period last year. Kalifungwa said Barclays is above this average which affirms its resilience and ability to outperform the market. In comparison to the second half of last year, Barclays profits grew by P25 million or 11 percent. “All things equal we anticipate to post a stronger second half of the year profitability as momentum in our key business segments starts to pick up in earnest,” said Kalifungwa.
Despite a challenging start to the year, Kalifungwa said the bank achieved a Return on Equity (RoE) of 22 percent which he said it is above the banking industry market average of 11 percent for the first half of the year. “We recorded profitability across all our business segments,” he said. On impairments Kalifungwa said they recorded an increase of 1 percent when compared to the previous year which he explained that it is attributable to the bank’s enhanced collection capability and conservative credit extension. According to him, the bank’s Loan Loss rate averaged 1.84 percent over the period when compared to the banking industry market average of 7.5 percent. For this half year period Barclays will payout its shareholders an amount of 11.375 Thebe per share with the whole dividends amounting to P100 million being an interim dividend for the period. Meanwhile the bank Managing Director Reinette van der Merwe said they will focus more on corporate and business banking in its chosen sectors. This, she said, is part of the bank’s transformation journey which will also focus on delivering on shared growth which underpins the way Barclays serves its customers.