Stanbic Holdings Plc braved a difficult operating environment in 2020 to record a profit after tax of Ksh5.2 billion, down from Ksh6.4 billion in 2019.
It defied challenges including Covid-19 restrictions, subdued interest rates, weakening of the local currency and increased regulations. The pandemic and its impact on the economy including the waivers on mobile transactions granted by the bank to support clients and reduction in brokerage fees negatively impacted non interest income.
Reduction in Central Bank rate by 200bps, subdued interbank rates and hushed yields on short term government paper resulted in a 4% decline in net interest income from Ksh13.34B in 2019 to Ksh12.8B in 2020.
Stanbic undertook various interventions to cushion against the effects of Covid-19 and was the first bank in Kenya to issue loan moratoriums for individuals, SMEs and corporates, benefiting over 7,200 clients.
It restructured loans worth KES 40 billion of which Ksh3.1 billion related to SMEs. Through its insurance operation, Stanbic fully paid over 400 retrenchment claims to assist clients to survive the Covid-19 storm.
A 12% increase in customer deposits and 4% growth in customer loans and advances saw the bank maintain strong balance sheet growth in 2020.
It ramped up its digital onboarding efforts, allowing individual clients to open accounts remotely and transact at their convenience with 92% of new accounts having been opened through this channel since the launch in the 3rd quarter of 2020.
Over Ksh685 million in loans was issued through the Stanbic App and USSD as the bank looked to make instant cash/salary advances accessible on digital channels.
Through its DADA offering, Stanbic notably onboarded over 10,000 women while issuing loans worth KES 844 million to support them and their businesses.
The bank also teamed up with the Ministry of Health and other organizations to support the country’s Covid-19 response, collaboratively spending over Ksh147 million in Covid-19 relief interventions which included a donation of 192 ventilators.
Through the Stanbic Kenya Foundation, the firm supported youth and entrepreneurs with programmes meant to impart knowledge on finances as well as technical and digital skills.
Stanbic Bank Kenya Chief Executive Charles Mudiwa expressed confidence that the bank would maintain its strong performance in 2021, highlighting opportunities uncovered by the pandemic.
“Despite a challenging operating environment, I am proud that Stanbic stood shoulder to shoulder with our clients and the Kenyan community when it really mattered the most.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, has given us a unique opportunity to live our purpose, we recognise the need for inclusive and sustainable growth and environmental sustainability. In a fast-changing world, we recognise the need to adapt to evolving risks, optimise resource allocation and drive returns. In doing so, we will leverage our core strengths, while seeking new ways to expand our offering and diversify our revenue streams further,” he stated.