Standard Chartered Bank Kenya has reported a net profit rose to Ksh. 2.4 billion quarter ended 31st March 2021. This is a slight increase as compared to the Ksh. 2 billion registered in the same period in 2020.

In the period, non-interest income went up by 11% with underlying efficiencies funding investment in transformational digital initiatives.

The lender’s non-interest-related expenses fell by 7.5% in the period to Ksh. 3.7 billion, a loss attributed to the completion of a staff rationalization exercise and lower loan loss provisions.

While operating expenses dropped, income rose marginally by 1.4% to Ksh. 7.1 billion. Total non-interest funded income grew to Ksh. 2.5 billion from Ksh. 2.2 billion, compensating an 8.2% drop in total interest income to Ksh. 5.6 billion.

On the flipside, net loans and advances to customers decreased by 3%, while Asset quality remained stable in the first quarter of 2021. The bank maintains that it is alert to the continued economic impact of COVID-19 and the unlikelihood of even recovery across industry segments, thus they intend to remain cautious.

Kariuki Ngari, CEO Standard Chartered Bank said, “Our first quarter performance was strong with profit after tax improving 19% buoyed by positive business momentum leading to improved transaction volumes particularly in Wealth Management, low credit impairment charges and operating cost efficiencies. Asset quality remained resilient and stable in the first quarter, although we continue to remain alert to the continued impact of COVID-19.”

The bank’s earnings per share (EPS) improved to Ksh. 6.22 from Ksh. 5.73 a year earlier. The bank’s assets settled at Ksh. 339.3 billion to include Ksh. 117.9 billion in net loans and advances to customers.

The cautionary lending saw the bank’s loan book record a 6.1 per cent slide from Ksh. 125.5 billion last year.