By Kashaka Isack
Centenary Bank, Uganda’s leading commercial microfinance Bank is pleased to announce a 26.2% growth in its total assets on the back of increased customer deposits and investment activities.
The growth demonstrates the bank’s resilience and guarantees its strong ability to continue meeting its customers’ financial needs in 2021 and beyond.
According to the bank’s financial statements for the year ending December 31st, 2020, the bank’s total assets grew to Ushs4.49 trillion from Ushs3.57 trillion in 2019, crossing the shs4 trillion mark for the first time since the bank was established.
Centenary Bank’s current top three assets include; Loans and Advances, investment and marketable securities (government bonds and treasury bills.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Fabian Kasi, the managing director of the bank attributed the double-digit growth in assets to an increase in customer deposits that were boosted by enhancement in the use of financial technology such as agent banking and CenteMobile, the bank’s signature digital inclusion tool.
In addition to the healthy growth in assets, the bank posted a profit after tax of shs161.2 billion, up by 3.5% from the Ushs155 billion that was recorded in 2019.
“Our overall performance and position in the banking industry depict our resolve in continuously delivering value to our customers and all other stakeholders. We leveraged on technology, people, and strong-rooted relationships, to deliver good performance, despite the year’s challenging operating environment,” Kasi said.
The Bank’s continued growth in 2020 in profits and total assets amidst slackness in business performance globally, he added, reflects our customer-centric value proposition delivery. This was guided by the Bank’s strategy, supported by investment in technology, lean processes and excellence in risk management, and strong client relationships.
During the year, Centenary Bank continued to invest in alternative digital banking channels such as CenteMobile, its flagship digital mobile product, and agency banking which contributed to the growth of customer deposits. The bank grew its agent network to 3,659 registered agents countrywide, affecting over a third of the bank’s customer transactions.
On CenteMobile, the bank introduced a low-balance account for customers called the CenteXpress savings account. Through this innovative digital account, all Centenary Bank customers can open a savings account for another person using their mobile App.
Despite a very tough year for the economy, on the loans& advance front, Non-Performing Loans of the bank moved slightly to 3.97%from 3.95%, well below the industry average of 4.4% demonstrating the bank’s astuteness in managing credit risk.
On the tax compliance side, during the year, the Bank collected and remitted taxes of Ushs107.7billion in total, to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), hence boosting the government’s revenue mobilization efforts. This constated of Pay as You Earn, Corporation tax, Excise Duty, VAT, Stamp Duty and Withholding tax.
Future outlook Following the global disruption of people’s ways of life and business activities by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the bank has embraced and is adapting to the “new normal” in order to rebuild a sustainable future in the delivery of financial services to customers.
“As a Bank, we shall continuously strive to deliver tailor-made and innovative products and services for our customers, with support of our improved systems and outlets.
As the future is digital led, we shall continue to ensure increased efficiency in our operations using technology while having a balanced human interface with our customers,” Mr. Kasi pledged.
Centenary Bank kicked off 2021 with a focus on achieving its strategic objectives through improving customer service, system stabilization, staff capacity building to sustain continued growth of our bank, and grow our business further through deposits and loans while optimizing costs and keeping a high-quality portfolio.
Key Performance Highlights
Profit after tax increased from UGX 155.9 Billion in 2019 to UGX 161.2 Billion in 2020 registering an increase of 3.4%.
Operating income grew from UGX 614.3 Billion in 2019 to UGX 649.4 Billion in 2020 representing a growth of 5.7%.
Customer deposits steadily increased by 23.9% from UGX 2.53 Trillion in 2019 to UGX 3.13 Trillion in 2020.
The Bank closed the year with 76 Branches having expanded our footprint by 2 additional branches in Busia and Bweyale.
The number of ATMs also grew from 179 to 188 serving in 127 locations.