Bank of The Bahamas (BOB) continues to show positive growth and financial stability, according to the bank’s Senior Managing Director Kenrick Brathwaite, who said the bank recorded net income of $500,000 in its first quarter ending September 30, 2019.
Brathwaite said in his overview of the bank’s first quarter financial performance that it continues to work toward sustainable profitability after five consecutive years of losses.
The bank made the positive turn in 2018 and continued the trend into 2019.
“After five years of consecutive net losses, the bank returned to profitability during its fiscal year 2018. This continued in fiscal year 2019 and during this current fiscal year 2020, the bank recorded net income of $0.5 million for the first quarter ended September 30, 2019,” said Brathwaite.
“Our focus remains providing more sustainable growth opportunities to ensure the bank’s success over the long term and to build a brand that restores trust, empowers customers and promotes responsible banking.”
He added in his assessment that BOB maintains a strong financial position, holding assets of $815.5 million with loans and advances sitting at $341.4 million at the end of this first quarter.
“The bank’s liquidity position also remained strong as its cash and cash equivalents stood at $177.6 million,” he said.
“The bank’s key capital ratios continued to be in compliance with regulatory requirements, with a common equity Tier 1 ratio of 41.1 percent, well above the Central Bank’s minimum requirement of 9.6 percent.
“The bank’s total equity closed at $162 million, higher than the June 30, 2019 balance of $161.5 million, due to the net income of $0.5 million reported for the period.”
BOB continues to collect interest payments from Bahamas Resolve Limited, which holds a $167.7 million promissory note for toxic loans taken off of Bank of The Bahamas’ books.
“The notes bear fixed interest at 3.5 percent, payable semi-annually on February 28 and August 31, commencing in August 2018,” the bank’s financial statements explain.
“The bank received the semi-annual interest payment of $2.9 million in September 2019. Accrued interest receivable as at September 30, 2019 amounted to $489,125.”
Brathwaite said in his overview that BOB’s total operating income increased by $0.8 million due to higher net interest earnings, while interest revenue increased by $0.6 million due to interest earnings from loans “as a result of the bank’s consumer loans campaign and lower interest expense by $0.3 million due to certain interest rates reduction and the continued shift in the deposit portfolio composition from higher yielding to lower yielding deposit products”.
According to Brathwaite, BOB’s non-interest income slowed by $0.1 million despite its higher fees and commission income.
“The bank recorded increases in its operating expenses by $0.8 million or 11.24 percent parallel with its initiative to support the planned growth,” Brathwaite said.
“A net credit loss expense of $2.7 million was recognized for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 compared to the $1.1 million net credit loss expense for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, as the Bank recorded the provision impact of the recent hurricane to its credit portfolio and the International Financial Reporting Standard 9 provision impact related to the overall portfolio growth.”