BNF Bank plc has been named Malta’s Bank of the Year 2022 by financial sector publication The Banker, by the Financial Times, it announced on Friday. This is the third consecutive year that the bank has been declared the winner of the prestigious award.
The awards recognise the work done and accomplishments by institutions that are at the forefront of the global banking industry, with “hundreds of entries submitted from all corners of the world”. The Banker recognised digital transformation and the embedding of sustainability as the “two major trends that can be gleaned from the submissions”. Winners from across the world attended this year’s awards ceremony at the start of December, the first in-person celebration in three years.
“We are committed to delivering our objectives and driving innovation in financial services, while continuously providing customer service excellence for a more sustainable future,” BNF Bank shared.
BNF Bank CEO Michael Collis said that the “key driver in our industry in the foreseeable future is technology”.
“Digitisation of services is at the core of our strategy, although in a tight-knit community like Malta, our branch network will always be crucial,” he added.
The Banker acknowledged that while Malta faced a challenging few years, particularly as it was placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s grey list in June 2021, “the country acted quickly” and was removed from it in August 2022. This significantly impacted Malta's banking sector, and many lost US dollar correspondent capability. Here, BNF Bank touted its credentials, stressing that it “was able to successfully retain and continue to operate both its US dollar and pound sterling correspondent banking relationships."
Apart from making reference to BNF Bank’s “strong” financial performance in 2021 that saw it register a 71.6 per cent increase in profit before tax, the publication also highlighted the bank’s progress in “upgrading its internet banking, with the introduction of a mobile app, and is now in the process of updating its core banking system and e-channels, with a view to providing new and improved customer experiences”.
BNF Bank is also on course to become Malta’s first systemic bank to operate its “core banking system-as-a-service using cloud technology”.
BNF Bank is a Maltese bank that offers a “personalised service” to its personal and business clients through its network of 12 retail branches, along with its Corporate and Business Banking centre, local trading room, and “strong team of customer care representatives”.