“Unlike the 2008 financial crisis, we are experiencing a catastrophe of the real economy not of banks, which are stronger and more resilient today,” states APS Bank CEO Marcel Cassar in the bank’s recently released Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2020.
Speaking of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the industry, the CEO goes on to note that while an effective vaccine may signal the start of a rebound in terms of human health, “a return to business normality is still way off.”
With governments and banks continuing to extend their assistance and loan moratoria into 2021, Mr Cassar deems the coming months to be critical in assessing the scale of risk and how robust economic recovery will be.
Looking at how this stands to affect APS Bank, Mr Cassar believes that the continuing situation will pose added challenges and responsibilities, as the bank continues to cement its reputation as an increasingly important player in the Maltese system. “In 2020 we continued to strengthen our product range, technology platforms, market reach and governance standards but our priority was to be a pillar of support for Maltese businesses and families,” he maintains.
For the year ended 31 December 2020, APS Group registered a pre-tax profit of €15.8 million (compared to €26.8 million in 2019) and posted a pre-tax result of €15.5 million (€21.6 million in 2019).
“We posted the best possible results in what are probably the most challenging circumstances, beating European peers and benchmarks and even our own forecasts,” Mr Cassar says, adding that 2021 will see the bank make progress on the next phase of its capital development plan, targeted for 2022. “Our campaign to raise what would be the largest ever round of capital for APS Bank will demonstrate our long-term commitment to the Maltese economy, underpinned by a strategy and business model that are always true to our values.”
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