Barclays Bank of Kenya has reported a 1.9 per cent increase in net profit to Sh5.4 billion in the first nine months ended September, posting the lowest earnings growth rate among its first-tier peers.
The lender, recently divorced from its former parent company, the UK-based Barclays Plc, booked a 7.6 percent growth in total interest income to Sh21.6 billion. Cost-cutting measures helped to shrink staff costs by 7.9 per cent to Sh7.5 billion.
The staff redundancies done in the previous financial year saw the business shut down 12 branches to close the year at 89 outlets, most of them in Nairobi. Barclays also closed last year with 2,268 employees on its payroll, down from 2,591 in 2016.
The bank’s operating expenses increased by 8.3 per cent to Sh16.13 billion, offsetting a 5.5 per cent growth in operating income to Sh23.85 billion.
Its customer deposits grew 10 per cent to Sh220 billion with transactional accounts constituting 66 per cent of the total deposits, partly attributable to new products launched by the bank. Barclays last month up-scaled its Enterprise Supply Development (ESD) fund, which targets small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to Sh500 million after a pilot programme that lasted for over a year. The programme finances SMEs that supply goods and services to corporate firms on the basis of valid contracts.
Barclays’ peers reported higher profit months at the third quarter mark. Co-operative Bank’s quarter three net profit rose by eight percent to Sh10.3bn, as Equity Bank’s jumped by 8.1 per cent jump to Sh15.8 billion for the first nine months of the year.
KCB recorded a 19.6 percent jump to post Sh18 billion net profit during a similar period.