The Community Environmental Protection Programme (Cepep) is being reviewed by the Finance Ministry following a $75 million cut in funding for 2018.
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Scotiabank profits up by 8%
Scotiabank yesterday reported net income after taxation of $332.7 million for the six months ended April 30, 2017, an increase of $25 million or 8 per cent over the comparative period in 2016.
For the six-month period, the bank experienced an 11 per cent increase in its total revenue, which jumped to $874.6 million for the period ending April 30, from $787 million in the same period in 2016.
Scotiabank’s results came despite the fact that it reported a 94 per cent increase in its loan loss expenses, which jumped to $58.5 million for the period ending April 30, 2017, from $30.2 million in the comparable half year.
The bank said its loan loss expense increase “reflects higher credit losses on our retail portfolio which is reflective of the current economic environment, prudent risk management policies as well as overall growth in the loan book.”
Commenting on the results, Scotiabank’s senior vice president and head of the south and east Caribbean Anya Schnoor said: “Our strong performance is driven by solid growth in our core business lines combined with lower expenses. Retail loans grew by $749 million or 8 per cent and total deposits increased by $1.5 billion or 9 per cent when compared to the same time last year.
“This demonstrates the strength of our bank and the confidence that our customers continue to place with us.
Schnoor said despite the downgrades of T&T’s long-term sovereign credit rating, Scotiabank is committed to working with its clients during this period and to finding solutions that make them better off.
“In this light, we have recently launched two initiatives geared towards the further growth and development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as we continue to support the Government’s thrust to diversify and develop the local economy,” she said.
“The first initiative, The Scotiabank Vision Achiever 2017 programme will provide practical training to business owners, thereby allowing them to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills as they seek to grow and expand their businesses. The second initiative is our SME Development Credit Facility, which provides affordable financing to selected industries.”
She said the bank continues to make good progress on its strategic priority of digital transformation and during the quarter it launched new functionality on our on-line and mobile platforms.
“Customers with chequeing accounts are now able to access on-line images of cheques written on their accounts,” Schnoor said, adding: “This new functionality is consistent with our drive to make it easier for our customers to bank with us.”
In light of its continued strong performance, Scotiabank’s board approved a second quarter dividend of $0.50, which brings the dividend for the first half of its financial year to $1, a 25 per cent increase over the $0.80 for the same period in 2017.