FNB deposits top N$36 billion

By Hilary Mare

FOR the year ending June 30 2021, FirstRand Namibia Limited total deposits were N$36 billion, down from N$38 billion in the previous year while total advances stayed steady at N$30 billion, the bank’s financials released last week reveal.

The results further show strong growth in headline earnings at N$1 023 million, compared to N$867 million in 2020 while assets under management grew from N$14 billion in 2020 to N$15 billion.

Apart from this, an ordinary dividend of 118 cents per share was declared for end of 2021, combined with the interim dividend of 94 cents, totalling 212 cents per share – compared to the total dividend of 154 cents in 2020.

Oscar Capelao, FirstRand Namibia chief financial officer commented: “Post the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, underlying customer income and affordability in all segments deteriorated sharply, as evidenced by lower levels of underlying transactional and credit turnover and the increase in non-performing loans.”

“For FirstRand Namibia, the economic impact of Covid-19 will continue to place acute pressure on the group’s performance for the rest of the 2021 calendar year. However, trends are improving post-lockdown even as economic recovery slowly emerges, and we remain hopeful that the remaining year will be better for Namibia and its people and the world at large,” says Capelao.

Echoing the same sentiments Conrad Dempsey, CEO: FirstRand Namibia said the group’s steady performance over the period is partly attributed to the pandemic impact driving necessary innovative and holistic relief programmes aimed at helping customers, including the cashflow relief programme, support to SMEs and larger businesses to continue to cover costs and salaries, as well as numerous waivers of fees and restructurings of loans.

Direct financial support to entities engaged in fighting the pandemic’s spread doubled the groups’ community investment over the period into healthcare worker protection, hospital equipment, oxygen delivery support and more recently vaccines transport and distribution across the country.

“FNB Namibia’s digital banking platforms have also contributed to its brand value growth. As a purpose-led brand FirstRand Namibia continues to push and redefine boundaries on what help means to customers and society. We play a pivotal role in our customers’ lives by empowering them through relevant and meaningful contextual solutions. Help is therefore central to everything we do.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated our plans to design, implement and improve the nature of our financial and non-financial support to our customers and vulnerable communities. We continue to respond purposefully and empathetically to calls for help by assisting customers through a range relief measures to help keep their heads above the water in the midst of a pandemic,” he said adding that globally, economies and societies are starting to emerge from the pandemic.

“In some countries, post-pandemic life is becoming a reality, with swift economic recovery creating new jobs. This view of life on the other side inspires us and our partners to step up and rebuild lost capacity to ensure that Namibia keeps in step with the global recovery,” concluded Dempsey.