- All-time high of Rs.144.7bn in gross income; 19.2% incline in PAT
- Two Rs.1tn achievements – first for any Sri Lankan bank in one year
The bank that has always maintained its central ethos of being the pulse of the people, People’s Bank, declared an impressive financial performance for the FY 2016, with all key performance indicators showcasing a striking upward trajectory in the group’s performance.
With the group posting a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs.25.4 billion, which incline of 5.4 percent examples the group’s unwavering commitment to continue its spearheading stance as one of vision, action and impact, the 19.2 percent growth seen in the profit after tax (PAT) of Rs.18 billion, inclining from Rs.15.1 billion further reiterates this promise.
Etching one of the many milestones it has this year, the total gross income reached an all-time record performance notched at Rs.144.7 billion, a 16.9 percent growth compared to Rs.123.8 billion at end-2015. The net surpluses were well evident across all aspects of investment operations with revaluation and available for sale reserves posted at Rs.11.9 billion and Rs.0.3 billion, respectively.
The group’s return on average equity was 22.7 percent compared to last year’s 22 percent, while the total contribution via taxation, special levies and dividends reflect the integral role the group plays in national economic development, with its Rs.22.9 billion contribution, once again considerably higher than last year’s Rs.19.5 billion.
People’s Bank Group Chairman Hemasiri Fernando commented that the group’s results exampled the group’s astute journey within the fast-evolving financial services industry, maintaining an insistent focus on every stakeholder.
“Our results are self-attesting to an unrelenting pursuit to add consistent value for the benefit of all our stakeholders. Needless be said, market circumstances in 2016 were challenging and from a macroeconomic stand-point, these included, inflationary pressures and a tightening monetary policy, which led to a rise in interest rates and high earnings pressure.”
People’s Bank’s return on equity stands among the top 20 in the region, while a benchmark it further etched this year was the 27.5 percent return on average equity, which in 2015 was 27.1 percent.
This customer loyalty is well reflected in the Rs.1.1 trillion in customer deposits representing a 20 percent growth over the end-2015 Rs.932.9 billion, certainly one of the highest in the country. Similarly, customer advances too touched the Rs.1 trillion mark, with a 16.6 percent growth over last year’s Rs.869.8 billion, at group level.
Opining that 2016 has been a year of new highs for the bank, CEO/General Manager Vasantha Kumar said, “It’s been one of continuous positive improvement across several aspects of business operations both quantitative and qualitative. It was a year that witnessed two Rs.1 trillion feats in a single year - the first for any bank, a gross income-generating capability cross the Rs.140 billion mark, a loan book composition further improved and a gross non-performing loan ratio reaching a 10-year low - the latter evidencing a further improved risk management framework and collection and recovery process.”
This is well evidenced in the 10-year low gross NPL ratio of 1.9 percent (which in 2015 was 2.4 percent) highlighting the hallmark consistency that People’s Bank has continued to espouse and also a total asset base of Rs.1.4 trillion, which is an 11.6 percent growth over Rs.1.3 trillion at end-2015.
In analysing the group’s capital adequacy ratio of 13 percent with a Tier I ratio or 11.1 percent and the bank’s CAR of 12.1 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, Fernando clarified, “In terms of near-term goals, bolstering our regulatory capital levels remains a priority and a work in process. Ongoing discussions with the Public Enterprise Development Ministry and the recent cabinet approval received to amend the People’s Bank act are viewed very positively in this connection.”
Kumar added that the corporate plan of 2016-2020 forms an integral facet to this success with several new initiatives propelling the bank towards a new era of performance and delivery capabilities.
“Core to them all is digitization,” he said of the digitization process that began in 2015 and is well on target to be fully operational by end-2017.
“Backed by technology of global repute and a team unlike any other, this will put us on par with international counterparts in terms of our customer convenience offerings. Not complacent with our successes and conscious of the challenges that may lie ahead, we look to the future with a great degree of optimism.”