Barclays Bank of Kenya has booked Ksh7.4 billion profit after tax for the financial year 2018 equivalent to 7% gain compared to 2017’s earnings. The growth was supported by the Bank’s increasing focus on improving customer experience. The Bank’s loan book grew by 5 per cent to KSh177 billion while its customer deposits grew by 11.5 per cent.
The bank’s strategy to diversify from interest-funded income has paid off with a jump of 15 percent in non-interest income. Most of the non-funded income was generated by the bank’s digital lending platform Timiza, and its bancassurance unit.
The Bank’s expenses declined driven by a drop in rental costs and lower staff costs. Its branch numbers decreased to 84 from 119. Barclay’s Bank MD Jeremy Awori said that the decision to reduce the branches was inspired by a shift toward digital banking. 70 percent of the Bank’s transactions take place outside the branches. The bank aims to achieve 90 percent level of operation outside bank branches.
Going forward, Barclays plans to invest heavily in technology to improve customers’ experience and optimize its resources. The bank’s Strategy director, Moses Muthui, mentioned a plan to invest in robotics as part of the shift towards technology focused banking. Its goal is to be Kenya’s most digitally focused bank.
Barclays is also undergoing a transformation process which will see it rebrand to Absa. The bank’s executives predict a rise in expenses associated with the rebranding process which is scheduled to end by June 2020. The parent firm Absa group will contribute funds toward the rebranding process.
The bank’s board recommend a final dividend of KSh 0.90 per ordinary share. If the investors approve the decision, its total dividend for 2018 will be Ksh1.10 representing a 10