Banks’ combined profit hits K68.6 billion

Commercial banks posted a combined K68.6 billion profit after-tax in the first six months of 2022, figures in the Financial Stability Report of the Reserve Bank of Malawi show. This represents a 41.4 percent increase in the profit when compared to a similar period last year. Bankers Association of Malawi President Macfussy Kawawa was quoted by the…

Commercial banks posted a combined K68.6 billion profit after-tax in the first six months of 2022, figures in the Financial Stability Report of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) show.

This represents a 41.4 percent increase in the profit when compared to a similar period last year.

The central bank attributes the growth in the profitability to a rise in income to K284.5 billion. Expenses in the banking sector amounted to K171.4 billion.

The banking sector remains resilient while almost all the other sectors of the economy have been squeezed due to volatility of the operating environment emanating from the pangs Covid pandemic and interrupted global market supply chains due to the Russo—Ukrainian War.

But in the report, RBM says the banking sector remained on the recovery path from the adverse effects of the pandemic and is expected to remain in this trajectory.

“However, devaluation of Kwacha as well as inflation will negatively affect cost of living and businesses resulting to default in their obligations.

“The registrar [RBM] will continue to employ appropriate supervisory actions and measures to mitigate prevailing risks in the sector as well as the impact of the Covid pandemic,” reads the report.

Bankers Association of Malawi President Macfussy Kawawa was quoted by the association’s recent magazine to have said the impact of exogenous shocks like the Covid pandemic, and lately, the Russia- Ukraine war, coupled with other structural economic challenges cannot be underestimated.

In the first half, the banking sector was partly affected by the 25 percent devaluation of the Kwacha in Many, and the earlier upward adjustment of the policy rate to 14 percent from 12 percent.

Economist from the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences Betchani Tchereni said the banking sector’s performance could not be celebrated as the outlook remains mixed.

“This development should not be celebrated because in the long run, the banking sector will find itself in a situation where a lot of people do not have the muscle to bank with them and a government which is heavily in debt,” he said

One of the listed commercial banks, NBS Bank plc, said in its half-year financial statement published recently that outlook for the remaining half of the year however, looks murky.

The bank’s profit after tax for the half year ended June 30, 2022 increased by 16 percent to K5.1 billion from K4.4 billion recorded during the same period last year.

Profit for another listed commercial bank, Standard Bank, went up 37 percent to K15.8 billion from K11.6 billion during the period under review.

Post-tax profit for Ecobank jumped by 87 percent, year-on-year, to K8 billion.

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