After announcing a surge in pre-tax profit for the 2022 financial year, BNF Bank plc CEO David Power reaffirmed that a number of challenges that were experienced last year have continued into 2023, particularly those related to inflationary pressures.
This comes after the bank reported €12.2 million in pre-tax profit, representing a 34.9 per cent rise from 2021’s €9.1 million. This primarily came about following a €3.1 million increase in net interest income, taking it up to €25.8 million. Net loans to customers at year end grew by 14 per cent to €903.7 million, while the percentage of credit impaired lending decreased from 4.1 per cent to 2.6 per cent.
BNF Bank’s total equity and liabilities expanded from 2021’s €1 billion to €1.2 billion in 2022.
Following the end of the reporting period, a net dividend of €0.041 per nominal share of €0.7552 for a total amount of €4,036,726.50 is being proposed by the Board of Directors to be distributed to 2022’s shareholders. A resolution will be proposed during the next Annual General Meeting, and is subject to regulatory approval.
Mr Power, who was appointed CEO last year, remarked that the bank navigated through “another year of complex international challenges” in 2022, in order to achieve the objectives set in its Vision 2023 strategy. He stated that as at the end of the year, BNF Bank was “largely in line” with its financial key performance indicators.
“Key strategic achievements included growth in the bank’s commercial assets, the successful issue of a subordinated bond listed on the Malta Stock Exchange, and technological advancements,” he said.
He also made reference to the growth of BNF Bank’s UK branch, which is currently involved in secured syndications with conservative loan-to-value ratios, the underlying security being central and prime immovable property.
He remarked that the “strong” financial performance for the year was “once again underpinned by focused and rigorous” risk management, as well as adherence to regulatory requirements.
Looking ahead, Mr Power explained that the “global challenges of 2022 persisted into 2023 with high levels of inflation continuing to burden the global economy”. Locally inflation has remained below the European average mainly due to subsidised energy costs, he highlighted.
He also noted how this month, the international financial sector was hit by “stress events” resulting in the collapse of various United States regional banks, along with banking giant UBS’s acquisition of Credit Suisse.
“As the bank has commenced the final year of its Vision 2023 strategy, we continue to work towards our core objective of keeping our customers as our focal point and striving to improve our product and service offering. Beyond 2023 we are progressing with our strategic plans which will take us on our journey for the medium-term, and ensure the continued success of BNF Bank,” he said.
He added that BNF Bank “prides itself” on its community initiatives, undertaken through its branch network and framed by its ESG strategy. “Our objective is to be fully connected with the communities we work in, not just through the banking services we offer, but also by supporting worthy causes both financially and by our staff giving their time to help,” Mr Power concluded.
BNF Bank plc CEO David Power / BNF Bank
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