BPR sees loss in its earnings

Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) has recorded a loss in its operating earnings for the year 2009 as it struggled to get rid of huge bad debts off its balance sheet, according to management.
Ben Kalkman, BPR’s Chief Executive Officer. (File photo)
Ben Kalkman, BPR’s Chief Executive Officer. (File photo)

Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) has recorded a loss in its operating earnings for the year 2009 as it struggled to get rid of huge bad debts off its balance sheet, according to management.

BPR’s financial results, which were released last month, indicated that it posted a loss of Rwf1.1billion, down from a net profit of Rwf1.5 billion in 2008.

The bank said that it had to write-off Rwf1 billion from its balance sheet in 2009 in order to reduce the non-perfuming loans. The figure dates back as far as 10 years. BPR’s non-performing loans stand at 15 percent, way above the Central Bank’s threshold of 7 percent.

Management says they want to slash it to 11 percent by the end of the year.

“2009 was a difficult year for the financial sector worldwide. We decided to invest heavily in human resource, redesign branches, harmonising all branches to one network,” BPR’s CEO Ben Kalkman told Business Times on Thursday.

Kalkman explained that now that the bank’s balance sheet is clean, they are assured of positive financial results in 2010.

BPR’s pre-tax profits dropped by 50.2 percent to Rwf1.2 billion, down from Rwf2.4 billion in 2008. 

In achieving their target, the CEO said that the bank has recruited financial controllers, Chief Risk Officer to help reduce the non-performing loans.

Kalkman said that with the help of the recently launched Credit Reference Bureau 9CRB) it will be easy to deal with risky clients.

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