BNF Bank plc delivered a profit before tax of €9.1 million in 2021, a 71.6 per cent increase from 2020’s €5.3 million.

Announcing the figures on Wednesday, the Bank reported a “strong financial performance” for 2021, with an increase of 12.3 per cent (€3 million) in net operating income from the previous year’s €24.2 million to reach €27.2 million

BNF Bank described the rise in net operating income as a “key contributor to improved profitability”.

The cost-to-income ratio improved steadily throughout 2021, dropping from 2020’s 66.5 per cent to 62.9 per cent in 2021, with a low increase of €1 million in operating expenses having a significant effect on this.

Additionally, the Bank also maintained “its cautious provisioning stance”, increasing its credit provision by a further €1.1 million in 2021.

In terms of its financial position, BNF Bank reported a total asset growth of 11.5 per cent in 2021, equating to an increase of €103.5 million that was primarily funded by a rise in amounts owed to customers of €82.2 million, an increase in amounts owed to banks and other institutions of €15.9 million, as well as a rise in retained earnings of €5.4 million.

Loans and advances to customers remained as the largest and main income-producing asset portfolio in 2021, making up 79 per cent of total assets.

This significant portion of the asset portfolio was comprised of €300.3 million in net corporate lending, an increase of 8.5 per cent from 2020, and of net retail lending which amounted to €492.8 million in 2021.

The report also indicated that “BNF Bank’s liquidity position remained robust throughout 2021 and the Bank continued to operate diversified sources of funding.”

The Bank also reported that the “main source of funding remained retail and commercial deposits from the Maltese market, although the Bank also continued to strengthen its partnership with online deposit platforms to raise Euro and Pounds Sterling funding from German and UK retail depositors.”

Additionally, the Bank also announced that its Capital Adequacy Ratio at the end of 2021 was 17.5 per cent, while the Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio was 15.6 per cent, both being “well above overall capital requirements and Pillar 2 guidance buffers.”

Speaking on the financial results, Chief Financial Officer Mark Micallef cited asset growth and cautious provisioning and capital planning as being key to the Bank’s performance for the year.

“Our continued focus on serving our customers translated into another year of profitable growth for BNF Bank,” Mr Micallef said.

“In the background, to ensure that our growth is financially sustainable, regular financial planning exercises are carried out to anticipate and withstand challenges that we might face,” he added.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Michael Collis also expressed his satisfaction, remarking that the Bank achieved its strategic objectives for the year, despite the challenging environment.

“We continued to work relentlessly towards our targets, driven by our long-term vision to take the Bank to the next level,” Mr Collis said.

“Our intention is to continue working on the key pillars of our Vision 2023 strategy of financially sustainable growth, internationalisation, and technology transformation,” he added.

Concluding, Mr Collis also said: “Our core objective remains to keep our customers at the centre of everything we do, while providing a competitive suite of products delivered through an omnichannel approach.”

BNF Bank’s financial statements for 2021 are included in its Annual Report that can be found here.

The Bank describes itself as a “key player in the Maltese financial services sector,” striving to be “the bank of choice for individuals and businesses”.

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Written By

Fabrizio Tabone

Fabrizio has a passion for the economy and technology, especially when it comes to innovation. Aside from this, he also has a passion for football and movies, and so you will often find him either with a ball to his feet or at the cinema checking out the latest releases.