The Managing Director, Absa Bank Uganda Limited Mumba Kalifungwa has revealed that the bank posted Shs41 billion profits in 2020.
Despite the industry decline in lending, the Bank’s gross loan book grew to Shs 1.5 trillion maintaining a three-year compounded annual growth rate of 9.6%, mainly driven by its commitment to support their customers’ credit needs. With a capital ratio of 23.9%, the bank remained well capitalized way above the regulatory requirement of 12%.
Despite the outbreak of Covid-19 Pandemic costs remained well controlled with a 4.9% growth year-on-year, in line with core inﬂation for the year ended December 2020. This was on the back of better cost management and continued investment in technology platforms to increase efficiencies.
The bank witnessed an 8.1% growth in customer deposits amounting to Shs 2.4 trillion, maintaining a 12% compounded annual growth rate for the third year running.
“We remain committed to providing financing to the economy to facilitate trade, commerce and capital formulation for business growth. We have prioritized investment in innovation as we seek to leverage the strength of digital technology to create seamless experiences for our customers and consequently, realize our ambition to become a digitally led bank,” Mumba said.
Mumba commended the Ministry of Health on its efforts to combat Covid-19 pandemic. With increased access to the vaccine both locally and globally, the Bank anticipates a pick-up in key sectors including International Trade, Agriculture, and Construction and Manufacturing sectors.
“As we look at 2021, we remain cautiously optimistic as certain sectors of the economy recover from the contraction in 2020. Uncertainty still remains on when we shall see full recovery of the economy,” Kalifungwa said.
The Board Chair of Absa Bank Nadine Byarugaba said; “As a Bank and the country, they faced exceptionally unique challenges and I would like to commend the management team and staff for their stewardship throughout the year. The Board is very confident in your abilities.”
The Bank intends to invest in sectors crucial to socio-economic development and economic recovery by growing private sector credit. Among the digital innovations introduced included the contactless functionality on our vertical visa cards and point of sale machines which was a first in the market and the Novo FX app which allows for cross border payments in multiple currencies.
“Some of the achievements witnessed over the year included digital innovations in line with the bank’s ambition to become a digitally led bank, resilient business growth and impactful community support as a response to the pandemic,” Shew said.