I&M BANK RWANDA LTD announced its audited financial results for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2017. The New Times’ JOSEPH MUDINGU had a one-on-one with the managing-director ROBIN BAIRSTOW.
Q: Today, I&M Bank has announced its audited financial results for the fiscal year ended 31st December 2017; what is the general outlook?
A: I&M is a great bank and yes the financial results show that we are doing well, thanks in part to my team’s contribution. We are doing very well.
The Bank reported a net profit of Rwf6.5 billion (USD11.6 million), a 12% year-on-year increase in comparison to Rwf5.8 billion in 2016. We reported Profit before tax of Rwf9.85 billion for the year ended 2017, an increase of 17% resulting in a cost-to-income ratio of 55.8%, compared to 58.1% for the same period in the last year.
Also the Bank’s earnings per share grew by 11.3% from Rwf11.61 billion in 2016 to Rwf12.92 billion in 2017 and interest and similar income increased by 20% year-on-year to Rwf24.5Bilion (USD28.9 million).
Q: How does the performance relate to its long existence?
A: Well, the bank’s reported profit after tax was Rwf6.5 billion; an increase of 12% year-on-year while Return on Average Assets (ROAA) stood at 2.8%, whereas return on average equity (ROAE) stood at 19.9%.
Also as of 31 December 2017, the Bank’s Total Assets stood at Rwf260 billion, a year-on-year increase of 26% while Gross Loans increased by 32.3% to Rwf149.6 billion and Net Loans and Advances increased by 33% Year-on-Year to Rwf146.5 billion.
Well this is definitely not a bad year for the bank, as we managed to achieve this by having initiated ventures that enormously contributed to diversification of the country’s economy.
With its 55 year long history in Rwanda, the bank has come to understand the clients’ needs and meeting them with informed masterly. We are the oldest financial institution and the first bank in Rwanda with a presence network of 17 outlets spread out across the country, making us a strong institution.
Q: What is the bank’s average status on loans and how have you managed non-performing loans?
A: The Bank’s NPL ratio stood at 2.49% as of 31 December 2017, below the industry average of 7.6% while Gross Loans to Total Assets ratio stood at 57.5%, increasing from 54.8% in the same period 2016.
Also customers and other financial institutions deposits reached Rwf 209 billion, recording an increase of 30% year-on-year while the liquidity ratio of the Bank stood at 47% against the BNR threshold of 20% and shareholders’ Equity equaled Rwf35 billion, up 15.3%.
This means that the bank is well provided in terms of its loans provision because when you look at return on average assets, the industry has 1.1% while I&M is on 2.8%.
Q: What is the bank doing differently from others that made it achieve so much in the last five years and what should the shareholders expect from the bank in the nearby future?
A: I would say there is no single silver bullet to because we have embarked on a number of strategies that have made I&M Bank one of the most efficient banks in Rwanda.
If you look at all the four arrears of business growth, optimizing our digital outreach and in terms of minimizing costs, the bank has invested a lot of money in operation expenses through growing ATM accounts and networks, mobile banking and ensuring that we have access to the channels that are available to make the bank grow.
Q: Apart from doing business in a profitable and ingenious way, how is the bank appreciating its customers in the society where it operates?
A: I&M Bank stands committed to improving the quality of life in our society. In this regard, the Bank has been supporting needy deserving projects, institutions and individuals around the country through its Corporate Social Responsibility programme and in turn creating long term relationships.
Our CSR projects includes of many diverse causes, ranging from education, community service, health and environment.
Also our shareholders should turn up in big numbers to the Annual General Meeting that the Board of Directors has set to be held in Kigali on 28th May 2018 at Kigali Convention Centre.
The Board of Directors proposes that the AGM approves a dividend pay-out of 40% of the Bank’s audited IFRS-based Net profit in respect of 2017.
I&M Bank promises a more enriched customers’ experience
Ten outstanding individuals and private companies that excelled in providing services last year were rewarded for their commitment to good services and enriching customers’ experience.
At a colorful event that took place at Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) in early January 2018 and attracted hundreds of members of the business community, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) awarded winners during its 5th edition of the Business Excellence Awards.
I&M Bank scooped the award for Service Provider of the Year, awarded for having initiated ventures that enormously contributed to diversification of the country’s economy.
The Managing Director of I&M Bank, Robin Bairstow, believes that with its 55 year long history in Rwanda, the Bank has come to understand the clients’ needs and meeting them with informed masterly.
“We are the oldest financial institution and the first bank in Rwanda having been incorporated in 1963. We were previously known as BCR and later became I&M Bank. Our presence is a network of 17 outlets spread out across the country, making us a strong institution with a thick footprint,” says Robin.
I&M Bank Rwanda is one of the most efficient banks in Rwanda in terms of operational costs . In 2001 it emerged as the Bank with the lowest cost to income ratio. The Bank was ranked as the most efficient bank in the sector by ROE of 19% as of December 2015 and the 3rd largest bank in terms of total assets with an asset base of Rwf 206 billion.
According to Robin, the aim of having the business awards has always been to encourage competitiveness among Rwanda’s private sector enterprises and promote an innovative business culture in the country.
“We were initially and primarily a business bank but we changed the focus to being a universal bank that covers retail, business and co oporate banking with over 50,000 customers.”
The Bank was selected due to its proven impact of providing the best customer service in Rwanda. Winning the Service Provider of the year award will significantly enhance the Bank’s profile and reputation and help to strengthen a feeling of trust.
“Clients and employees alike want to associate themselves with winners and I believe this is good for the Bank. Our clients feel that they are dealing with the right institution as the staff will continue providing better services and with a lot of confidence” adds Robin.
Clare Akamanzi, the RDB Chief Executive Officer, described all the winners as the ‘captains of the industry’ saying that they all demonstrated the power that the private sector has in driving the country’s economic development.
“When you win, Rwanda wins and when Rwanda wins, we all win. This is, therefore, an evening of celebrating excellence demonstrated by the business community in the country. But it’s also been a special way of celebrating the growing ecosystem that ensures private sector remains at the forefront of everything we do here in Rwanda,” she remarked.
Some I&M Bank big clients also won awards. These include; Ignite Power who won Best Innovator of the year award; Bakheresa Grain Milling, the Manufacturer of the year and Emerging Investor of the Year award was given to C&H Garments.
Innovators are constantly creating, improving and creating again. They make a huge difference in people’s lives, in the economy and in the region.
According to the Co Founder of Ignite Solar Angela Homsi, the company was pleased to recognize this year’s Innovators of the Year award and their passion, creativity and drive that result in new products and processes that have a positive impact on Rwanda and beyond.
“Winning the RDB awards was important and very positive for their company. Recognition normally creates inspiration and motivation to the staff. To be recognized for the work we are doing is very important because 95% of all our customers are in rural areas and we don’t advertise the company outside our target clients. This will also act as a precursor to even do better” says Homis
She believes that their staff will work hard and do even better to connect as many families as possible in the off grid areas which will increase the number of customers which ultimately increases the revenues that will facilitate the company to create more jobs for the Rwandans and impact as many lives.
Also at Bakheresa grain milling, AZAM employees’ morale has been boosted.
Manufacturers contribute to the vibrancy of Rwandan economy through good business practices, innovative processes, safe work environments and productivity enhancements. Manufacturing creates economic growth and is the engine that drives the Rwandan economy.
According to Mournir Bakheresa, the Managing Director of BAKHERESA Grain Milling, the company has always kept employees’ morale high and will continue to work hard to exceed the demands of the customers.
“With this award of manufacturer of the year, we feel our status has improved. We will keep working hard to maintain it.”
Bakheresa Grain Milling (BGM) Rwanda is part of Bakhresa Group which is one of the leading industrial Houses in East Africa that started in a humble manner with a small restaurant in the port city of Dar Es Salaam.
During the 5th edition of RDB Business Excellence Awards., companies were evaluated in areas such as financial growth or consistency, technological advances, product development, environmental solutions and sustainability, operational excellence and continuous improvement, commitment to employees and effective research and development. Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges.