INTERVIEW: Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Anne Juuko Explains Performance in 2021

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Notwithstanding the headwinds during the 12 months to December 2021, Stanbic managed to post resilient results albeit slower growth in some key economic sectors. Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Anne Juuko explains some of the key performance indicators during year.  

What are main highlights in Stanbic Bank’s performance in 2021?

I am pleased to report that in 2021, we stayed true to our purpose—Uganda is home, we drive her growth. In year that saw the economy slow down significantly due to effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, we played our part, making credit available to critical drivers of growth hence supporting businesses create new employment opportunities and keep Ugandans in their jobs.

We extended credit to sectors that have the highest value contribution to economic growth. For instance, we lent sh290 billion to the trade sector, which is the second highest employer in Uganda, sh225 billion in household lending, Ushs223 billion to building and construction, sh 218 billion to manufacturing, sh150 billion to agriculture–the highest employer in Uganda with agricultural SACCOs being a top factor, and sh122 billion lent to the transport & communication. In total, new gross loan disbursements for the year 2021 amounted to sh1.3 trillion.

What was the performance across the other metrics in a year where most customers struggled to repay their loans due to the effects of the pandemic?

Indeed, average return on assets declined to 3.1% in 2021 from 3.2% the previous year compared to the pre-covid19 growth of 4.3%.

Despite the tough business environment, the Bank managed to post a decent profit after tax which grew by 11% to close the year at sh275 billion from sh243 billion the previous year largely driven by growth in trading revenue.

How did you manage the weakening asset quality arising from struggling client businesses?

The Bank sustained efforts to manage asset quality through proactive engagement of customers, restructuring loan repayments, and waiving or suspending interest repayment on loans by client businesses in sectors such as education that were most hit by the impact of covid-19 pandemic.

As a result of this, non-performing loans dropped to 4.6% from 4.7% (IFRS 9 standards) the previous year and saw our provision for the same, reduce to sh70 billion from sh92 billion in 2020.

How much did Stanbic Uganda pay in taxes last year?

The Bank is proudly among the country’s top ten largest taxpayers and number one in the banking sub-sector helping support the government’s efforts to raise domestic revenue needed in financing the national development agenda.

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As Ugandans emerge from the pandemic, how is the Bank supporting efforts to recapitalise small businesses and individuals?

In 2021, personal and household loans amounted to sh248 billion dominated by homes and residential land purchase. For small businesses, the Bank, together with strategic development partners continued to implement proactive initiatives such as the Economic Enterprise Restart Fund (EERF) under which the SACCO financing and capacity building programme was successfully piloted and saw disbursements of nearly sh18 billion in affordable loans benefiting almost 220,000 Ugandans who are members in the different SACCO groups.

The plan is to scale this initiative to reach at least 10 million Ugandans over the next five years.

Looking ahead, what are bank’s priorities for 2022?

The economy is now fully open after nearly two years of slow activity due to the pandemic—we are upbeat and ready to support full economic recovery.

We shall continue to innovate for the customer and avail digitally disbursed affordable credit through bespoke products for women, youth, farmers and our corporate customers

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