Development Bank rakes in record profit
By VonDez Phipps
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE St. Kitts-Nevis Development Bank has remained almost entirely unshaken in the face of the ongoing international economic and financial crises as it boasts a record profit of EC $4.2M in 2007, 10.5 percent more than the projected profit.
Loans and deposits for the bank saw a 15 percent increase from EC$20M in 2006 to EC$23.3M in 2007. However, interest expense on loans and deposits remained at EC$14.2M. The bank also recorded a 37 percent increase in its operating income, boosting EC$7.7M to EC$10.6M within the one year period.
The bank’s portfolio for 2007 increased to EC$270M, a 9.75 percent increase from the previous year, while its total administration expenses grew by six percent.
General Manager of the Bank Lenworth Harris confirmed that 50 percent of the company’s portfolio went to the agriculture, industry and commercial sector; 24 percent to student loans; 18 percent to mortgage and eight percent to the personal development fund. He also indicated that the profit is a “good sign” in leading the company to financial independence.
“It is an effort to move the bank to a position of sustainability. This profit strengthens our thrust to be less dependent on loan funds and through this we would be better able to fulfil our mandate.~~Adz:Right~~
“It [The profit] also shows the hard work of the staff here at the bank because they have been asked to do much more but with the same human resource. The next step is therefore about working harder to improve our systems and continue adding more value to our services.”
He added that given the turbulent financial crisis, the bank must capitalise on consolidating gains in order to improve efficiency and counteract economic challenges which may in turn affect the construction and tourism sectors. He also indicated that 2009 may not be as profitable, as he projected that the latter part of the year may be a downturn for the bank.
The General Manager said that the bank is trying to prepare its 2008 financial report in accordance with international financial standards and added that it [bank] has been mandated to complete the process by the end of February.
The 2008 report should be printed and available by the end of April of this year.