Sri Lanka’s Union Bank overall income exceeds Rs. 7 billion in first half of 2022.
The Morning: Union Bank stated that it recorded an improved core banking performance despite the challenges of a tough operating environment, and posted an overall income of Rs. 7,426 million for the first half of financial year 2022 (1H22), an increase of 31% over the comparative period.
Net Interest Income (NII) increased by 19% as a result of improved yields from the re-pricing of the asset portfolio and prudent management of interest expenses which lead to an increase in the Net Interest Margin (NIM) by 57 basis points (bps).
Net fee and commission income increased by 24% aided by domestic and international fund transfers, ATM transactions, credit and debit cards, remittances, and the increased activity from the trade business. Other operating income also increased by 141 % aided by foreign exchange income and gains.
Operating income before impairments was Rs. 3,575 million, an increase of 18% as at 30 June 2022. Due to the delays in loan settlements brought forth by the impacts of the adverse macroeconomic conditions, the bank continued to provide for increased impairments and management overlays as a prudent measure. The impairment charge for the period was Rs. 961 million, an increase of 120% compared to the corresponding period.
Despite prudent cost management initiatives, the total operating expenses of the bank increased to Rs. 2,059 million, an increase of 14% over the corresponding period, mainly impacted by the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee and consequent increase in fuel expenses, etc.
Consequently, the bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) including its equity accounted share of subsidiaries as at 30 June 2022 was Rs. 304 million and the bank’s Profit After Tax (PAT) was Rs. 152 million. Total Assets of the bank increased by 11% to Rs. 131,744 million by 30 June 2022. Loans and advances grew by 10% to Rs. 74,796 million, whilst customer deposits increased by 16% to Rs. 96,779 million due to the focus on sourcing Current Account Savings Accounts (CASA) and term deposits across all segments. The CASA ratio was 27.5% as of 30 June 2022. The bank’s stage 3 loan ratio stood at 6.89%.
The bank continued to maintain a healthy capital adequacy position, well above the regulatory requirements and the bank’s Total Capital Ratio was 16.34% as of 30 June 2022.
Union Bank Group, consisting of UB Finance Company Ltd., and National Asset Management Ltd., recorded a PBT amounting to Rs. 395 million for the period up to 30 June 2022. Total assets of the group were Rs. 139,428 million, an increase of 12%, with the bank’s share amounting to over 94%.
Amidst the challenges, the corporate banking division prudently managed its loan portfolio whilst maintaining the credit quality and recorded a 29% growth in loans and advances and 39% growth in deposits.
The Treasury was able to re-align the impacted Government Securities portfolio at a much faster pace, through focused investment strategies and timely execution of auction pricing on short term T-Bills. Further, it was instrumental in providing the much-needed support to importers by way of foreign exchange with focus on US dollars and prioritising trade payments for essential items such as food, pharmaceuticals, fertiliser, fuel, and student payments.
In sync with the interest rate revisions, the retail banking sector focused on new customer relationships by expanding its deposit base through time deposits and recorded a 14% growth in deposits and a CASA ratio of 27.5% during the second quarter. In addition, customer convenience was further enhanced through the bank’s mobile banking app UBGO as well as its Agent Banking platform by facilitating deposits, loan payments, and credit card payments at selected SLT Mobitel and Cargills Food City outlets.
The SME Banking sector was able to secure the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funding line in 1Q 2022 and through this credit line continued its focus on new lending to support growth amongst women entrepreneurs and tea smallholders. In addition, a schematic plan was implemented to support the highly impacted SMEs with re-scheduled facilities and payment schemes. Further, the continued focus was placed on sourcing CASA through the bank’s cash management solution Union Bank Biz-Direct to new clients in both corporate and SME sectors.
The performance of Sri Lanka’s Union Bank is indicative of the overall strength and growth of the country’s banking sector. Despite facing many challenges through the years, including a global pandemic, Sri Lanka’s overall economy including the banking sector has shown great resilience. With Sri Lanka working towards becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region supported by the country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the strong trade ties enjoyed by the country, a strong banking sector would also add to the strengths held by Sri Lanka to attract foreign direct investments. Given the growing business potential in the country and the strong banking sector in place, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore opportunities in Sri Lanka.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/15082022/X_8|