People’s Bank CEO and GM N. Vasantha Kumar
With an impressive 91.9% increase in net interest income, People’s Bank unveiled a cascade of ground-breaking financials in a splendid all-round performance in the first quarter ended 31 March 2015.
The net interest income zoomed to Rs. 12.16 billion in the first quarter 2015 compared to Rs. 6.34 billion during the corresponding period in 2014.
The bank’s pre-tax profits surged to Rs. 4.02 billion, witnessing 17.3% growth in comparison to Rs. 3.43 billion in the first quarter of 2014.
Profit after tax also saw a satisfactory 11.4% growth, climbing to Rs. 2.84 billion in 2015 from Rs. 2.55 billion the previous year. Net operating income ballooned to Rs. 11.77 billion from Rs. 9.41 billion in 2014 – a 25.1% increase over the period under review.
The bank’s total assets grew by 3.1% to Rs. 1.06 trillion by 31 March 2015 compared to Rs. 1.03 trillion in December 2014. Tier 1 of the capital adequacy now stands at 10.5%, while the total capital ratio is 13.4%.
The overall savings base of People’s Bank increased to Rs. 328 billion in the first quarter, in comparison to Rs. 318.9 billion at the end of 2014.
With a 7% growth, Gross Loans stands at Rs. 732 billion at present, compared to Rs. 685 billion in December 2014.
People’s Bank Chairman Hemasiri Fernando described the achievements as “very satisfactory and encouraging,” as Sri Lanka’s second biggest Government-owned financial institution continued to cruise to greater heights with numbers that underlined healthy growth and progress.
“As a singular and focused bank, the significant growth in the savings and loans portfolios and other segments were well placed and did work out as planned,” he stressed.
“We have launched an ambitious project to make People’s Bank the most digitalised bank in Sri Lanka,” the Chairman stressed.
There are certain deficiencies in the banking operation, which demands remedial measures, he said. “We should further improve customer care, introduce new and modern technology and change the general attitude of employees through training.”
Fernando said that the necessary funds to digitalise People’s Bank had already been budgeted and the initiative would be launched soon. It is an investment to make the bank a state-of-the-art, efficient and customer-friendly financial institution.
“I have no doubt that with the present team of management headed by the GM, we will be able to achieve this objective without much difficulty,” the Chairman said.
CEO/General Manager N. Vasantha Kumar said that further improving customer care and staff training and development were key areas that the bank was focusing on in its onward journey to achieve greater excellence.
“I am happy about the financials of the first quarter 2015 and we need to focus more on the SME sector and credit growth in the second quarter,” he noted.
Kumar underscored that digitalisation could produce better results and People’s Bank, which remained the ‘Pulse of the People,’ expected more growth in deposit mobilisation as well as lending.
“We have rebranded our loan portfolio and it is now easy to understand and easy to make use of,” he said.
People’s Bank closed 2014 with an impressive performance by posting a record Rs. 1 trillion on its balance sheet, only the second bank in Sri Lanka to do so. During the year, the bank also notched the best profitability for a year-end since its inception in 1961.