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FNB profit soars remarkably

Standard Bank Namibia last week signed the Wages and Benefits Agreement with the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (BAWON) putting into effect a 6.5% increase. The agreement which came after three days of fruitful negotiations reveal salary increases and related benefits for Standard Bank’s employees for the financial year March 2015 to February 2016. Standard Bank Namibia’s Chief Executive Junius Mungunda (right) and Secretary General of BAWON Thomas Muchima during the signing.

FNB Namibia continued to impress, kicking the dust in the eyes of its competitors and delivering impressive half-year results this week. Half-year profit has risen considerably, increasing 29.4% or N$496.5 million against the comparative period in 2014. Other notable highlights achieved include non-interest income increasing by 21.1% while earnings per share increased by 28.5% to 187.2 cents against the comparative period in 2014. Said FNB, “the excellent first-half results were achieved by consistently executing our strategies and focus ing on delivering sustainable value to all our stakeholders.”

OUTsurance performed impeccably well. Said FNB, “banking performed especially well, increasing profit for the period by 30%. It contributed 95% to group profits against the 93% reported in June 2014. FNB Insurance Brokers, FNB Unit Trusts and FNB Trust Services all helped. OUTsurance also achieved impressive results, increasing profit for the six months to N$18.6 million.” Six months into its trading year, FNB Namibia has managed to increase its client base by 11% and has seen an equal rise in transactions volumes and a 23.1% increase in fee and commission income, thus helping to drive its non-interest income significantly. “Mobile banking transactions have increased at double the rate of traditional branch volumes. Although this erodes revenue to a certain extent, we are pleased to pass on the benefits of our strategy to encourage innovative electronic banking,” FNB said.  FNB Namibia has however had to pay for its growth which is reflected in its increasing presence around the country: an 8% salary increment cemented with the Namibian Bankers Union, a Namibia Training Authority levy imposed in April 2014. The strengthening of its risk and compliance team was also deemed stimuli to the increasing operational costs witnessed half-year. Said FNB, “we continue to incur investment costs in increasing our footprint. Grove Mall and Kuisebmond branches were opened, Okahandja branch was relocated and continuous renovations resulted in a 17.4% increase in property costs. In our effort to make banking more accessible, 38 additional ATMs were installed with associated data line and rental costs.” As Namibia’s largest bank by assets, total assets amounted to N$28.1 billion, advances grew by 14.8% to N$21.6 billion. Retail advances grew remarkably by 18% to N$5.2 billion. WesBank and home loans achieved asset growth of 15.2% and 12.3% respectively helping FNB maintain its market leader status. Added FNB, “the corporate advances grew by 20% demonstrating our success in increasing focus on the business, corporate and SOE market; one of our strategies. Deposits increased by 12.4% to N$22.9 billion. Although we saw average growth in overall value, mostly due to a limited increase in wholesale deposits, the bank experienced 23% annualised growth in retail deposits to more than N$5 billion. This is mainly because of our focus on growing transactional accounts, which also provide good opportunities to increase retail savings and investments.”

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