Malta, May 2017: IIG Bank continued to register significant progress in developing its business strategy which is targeted towards a global presence in international trade and commodity finance. This development was supported by yet another year of significant profits despite a focus on maintaining balance sheet size consistent with the average level of 2015, while concentrating on maintaining customer deposits within the desired parameters commensurate to asset growth. During the year, significant progress was made in the internal organisational structure, with additional recruitment of skilled personnel to increase its operational capacity and to continue enhancing its risk management and compliance team.
During the financial year under review, the Bank registered a profit before tax of $4,367,366. Net interest income increased to $5,516,183 and net fee and commission income to $813,043. Other income resulting from trading gains and disposal of financial assets generated a comprehensive operating income of $11,384,825, a 20% increase over the previous year. Administrative expenses of $2,905,467, saw a marginal increase of 10% over 2015. A charge of $4,111,992 was taken to profit and loss as the Bank provided fully to cover impaired loan assets while pursuing a suitable course of action to recover such debts. As in previous years, all the income generated during 2016 will be reinvested in the form of Tier I capital, since the Board continues to apply the same policy to ensure that the equity base of the Bank continues to grow and sustain its development.
The year-end balance sheet position of $154,109,412 is the result of an exercise to reduce in excess funding and associated cost. Loans and advances grew by 8% to $89,031,527 while investments in financial assets reduced to $20,679,444 in an effort to minimise the exposure to market risk on bond holdings, given the prevailing market conditions. As mentioned, and in line with the strategy adopted, customer deposits reduced to $120,670,756 from $143,670,301 at year-end in 2015.
The Bank has a regular customer base on both the deposit liabilities side of the business and in its loan asset portfolio. Significant progress has been made and opportunities of business continue to flow despite the moderate marketing effort, as the Bank concentrates on maintaining its high standard of service delivery to clients. The initial economic indicators and inflationary expectations for 2017 are encouraging and should lead to increased levels of activity in global trade. The Bank is very well prepared to take advantage of the evolving opportunities, while still retaining a very positive outlook should market conditions not develop in line with existing expectations.
Reporting on the performance of the Bank, Raymond Busuttil, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd, said: "Our success depends on the exceptional skills and dedication of our staff. We give extra attention to our service delivery as this gives us a competitive advantage, despite our size. Therefore, I thank our highly motivated staff and dedicated board members for yet another very successful year. I also thank our loyal customers for their trust and continued support."