Barclays keeps tight rein on lending to avoid bad loan nightmare

Barclays keeps tight rein on lending to avoid bad loan nightmare

HARARE, May 6 (The Source) – Barclays bank Zimbabwe says it intends to maintain its impressive loan loss ratio at less than one percent which is far less than the industry average of 11 percent, despite difficult business conditions.

Manging director George Guvamatanga on Thursday told The Source that from last year the bank had manged to keep the ratio under one percent in the four months of trade to April.

“The bank has maintained the loan loss ratio at less than 1 percent.  This reflects a strong loan portfolio and going forward our focus on the quality of the loan book is to increase in view of the market conditions prevailing,” he said.

Guvamatanga said though transactional volumes were much lower, the bank had shown an improved performance recording a total income of $16 million in the four months to April.

He said net interest income had increased 24 percent compared to last year, driven by a higher retail loan book as compared to last year.

The bank has a loan book of $145 million.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe is the second oldest bank in the country. In March Barclays Plc, the bank’s 68 percent shareholder indicated its intention to sell off its African assets, including the Zimbabwe operation.