The un-audited financial results for the second quarter reveal that NCB continues to maintain its profitability and remains the largest commercial Bank in Jamaica. This, NCB attributes to its strategic focus on four key elements: customer service initiatives, efficiency of processes, employee development and nation building activities. At its Investors’ Briefing themed Enhancing Efficiencies for Sustainability, hosted at the NCB Wellness and Recreation Centre on April 27, 2012, NCB reported a net profit of $4.8 billion for the six months ended March 31, 2012. This figure represents a decrease of $1.4 billion or 22.1% when compared with the corresponding six months ended March 2011.
Patrick Hylton, NCB’s Group Managing Director, highlighted that NCB continues to review and assess its operational processes with the aim of increasing efficiency across the Group. He emphasized that the objective of enhancing the credit processes is to “heighten the convenience, speed and accessibility of credit to customers while ensuring that risk filters are enhanced.” Reiterating this stance, Mr. Cohen stated “we seek to implement more robust risk management procedures and also aim for greater efficiency through reviewing our timelines and operation…”
Loans and advances, which totaled $103.1 billion as at March 31, 2012, grew by $14.8 billion, or 16.8%, compared to the loan portfolio as at March 31, 2011. Non-performing loans totaled $7.5 billion as at March 31, 2012 and represented 7.1% of the gross loans compared to 7.3% as at March 31, 2011. Excluding the losses related to this single exposure, non-performing loans as at March 31, 2012 was 4.4%.
Mr. Hytlon stated further that, separate from a one off non-performing loan, the “consumer loan growth [has acted] as a stimulant” resulting in an increase in NCB’s loan portfolio.
Other areas of focus were the Wealth Management segment which contributed operating profits of $2.2 billion for the six months ended March 31, 2012, representing an increase of $9 million, or 0.4%, over the six months ended March 31, 2011.
The Insurance and Pension Fund Management segment reported operating profits of $1.5 billion for the six months ended March 31, 2012. This result reflects an increase of $221 million, or 17.9% over the six months ended March 31, 2011.
Despite the tough economic climate, NCB’s dynamic and engaged leadership team allows the Group to be agile in responding to changes in the environment in order to capitalize on the opportunities that do exist in the marketplace.
Though the overall results reflect a decline in profits, NCB’s dedication to the development of the Jamaican society remains steadfast. Speaking at the Briefing, Sheree Martin, General Manager, NCB’s Marketing, Communications and Service Delivery and CEO NCB Foundation, explained that “One of NCB’s major strengths is our continued commitment to nation building …we have always embraced our corporate social responsibility as we aim to ‘Build a Better Jamaica’. In this our 175th year, we firmly believe that as a homegrown Bank, it is our duty to support and develop Brand Jamaica.”
A total of $22 million was contributed towards a number of initiatives supporting nation building. Key focus was given to the areas of Education, Community Development and Youth Leadership.
“Over our 175 years of operation we have grown with Jamaica from simply being a commercial bank to a financial group with a diverse business model and service framework. We are proud to stand at the helm of the financial services sector today and highly anticipate what the years ahead will bring,” said Mr. Hylton.