Absa Bank has reported 846% increase in profit after tax to Ksh. 5.6 billion for the period ending 30th June, 2021 compared Ksh. 0.6 billion posted in a similar period last year. The increase in profit has been attributed to growth in interest income particularly in the SMEs segment.
Announcing the results, Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori, said, “In confronting the challenges posed by the pandemic, we made the right decisive actions in capital management and supporting customers with over Ksh. 62 billion loan restructures and Ksh. 103 billion in gross lending in 2020. These decisions are paying off in 2021 with stronger balance sheet and faster growth for our franchise. We have been greatly inspired by the ingenuity and undying determination adopted by our fellow Kenyans to rise above the storm and keep getting things done.”
Despite the negative economic effects of the pandemic, Absa’s total income grew by 6% to Ksh. 17.8 billion. Likewise, Net customer loans went up by 8% to close at Ksh. 219 billion driven by key focus products namely general lending, trade loans, mortgage and scheme loans that recorded strong growth year on year. Customer deposits also grew by 6% to Ksh. 264 billion with transactional accounts contributing 68% of the total deposits.
As part of efforts to support enterprise development, the bank launched the Absa SHE Business account which aims to support at least 1 million women-led SMEs with both financial and non-financial resources. This account enables women entrepreneurs to access unsecured lending of up to Ksh. 10 million, facilitating access to the requisite financing and capital to grow and access local, regional and international markets.
The bank also recently introduced WhatsApp banking as part of its commitment to invest over Ksh. 1.6 billion in technology and innovation this year towards enhancing customer experience. Customers can now transact via WhatsApp including account-to-MPESA/Airtel Money transfers, inter-account transfers, bill payments and balance enquiry, among others.
“The pandemic and its negative effects continue to persist, but we have drawn inspiration from our customers to rise above the storm and continue working together to keep the wheels of our economy turning. We are optimistic that we shall make good our commitment to continue innovating and enhancing our customers’ banking experience,” Mr. Awori added.
Absa Bank is now confident to resume dividend payout at the full year.