The lone protester in a yellow jersey who’d stood outside the Twin Tower’s Finance Building on Wednesday hoisting an “Axe the Tax” placard wasn’t seen outside the Parliament for long yesterday.
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First Citizens profits inch up
The First Citizens yesterday reported profit after tax of $179.9 million for the three months ending December 31, 2015, which represents an increase of 1.2 per cent compared with the previous year, according to the bank’s chairman Anthony Smart.
First Citizens’ non-interest income increased by 33.7 per cent, compared with its first quarter in 2014, which was “in keeping with our income diversification strategy, due to increased contributions from fee-based business lines.”
The bank said that the impact of lower oil prices on the domestic economy makes proactive asset management critical, and it is continuing to redeploy asset to achieve higher yields.
According to the bank, the impact of that strategy was evident in the reduction of its loan notes and increases in loans to customers. The bank reduced its loan notes by 60 per cent, while its loans to customers increased by 12.7 per cent to $13.48 billion. Loans to customers comprised just under one-third of the bank’s total asset in its first quarter.
Chairman Smart said the board of the majority state-owned bank continued to be proud of the strength of the banking group, stating: “Our balance sheet is well capitalised and shows strong liquidity buffers and a diversified funding base.”
In an Initial Public Offering in 2013, the State sold 20 per cent of its 96 per cent stake in the holding company for the bank.