BNF Bank announced a strong financial performance for the year 2022, recording a profit before tax of €12.2 million – a 35% increase over 2021.
Higher profitability in 2022 was mainly due to increased net interest income of €25.8 million (2021: €22.7 million), a result of growth in the Bank’s loans and advances to customers – its largest and main income-producing assets portfolio, along with careful liability management. In addition, net fees and commission income and other ancillary income contributed to a new operating income for 2022 of €30.1 million (2021: €27.2 million).
The Bank’s cost-to-income ratio underlines the positive jaws generated between net operating income and general administrative expenses. A cost-to-income ratio of 61.7% (2021: 62.9%) reflects the Bank’s prudent stance towards cost control whilst not compromising on the Bank’s strategic goals.
In 2022 the Bank wrote back expected credit losses due to an improvement in asset quality. Net loans to customers at year end grew by 14% to €903.7 million, whilst the percentage of credit-impaired lending decreased from 4.1% to 2.6%.
The Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio improved to 19.6% (2021: 17.5%) further to the issuance of a €20 million subordinated bond, while the Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio stood at 14.6% (2021: 15.6%) – both ratios well above overall regulatory requirements.
On the back of these strong results, the Board of Directors has proposed a net divided of €0.041 per nominal share of €0.7552 for a total amount of €4,036,726.50 to be distributed to shareholders subject to their declaration in an AGM and regulatory approval.
BNF’s Chief Financial Officer, Mark Micallef, said that the Bank’s increasingly robust performance was due to significant asset growth combined with a cautious risk appetite and careful capital planning. “Our sustained Vision 2023 strategy of targeted customer focus, digital transformation and agile financial solutions covering personal and business lifecycles keeps spurring BNF’s status forward, as Malta’s bank of choice. Ours has proven to be a sustainable trajectory in the context of volatile markets and increased regulation.”
David Power, BNF Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said “We are extremely satisfied with these positive results, which are a testament to the team’s drive, ambition and promise to deliver service excellence, combined with management’s foresight and business acumen in sometimes challenging scenarios. Our core focus remains the customer who is at the heart of all our operations. BNF Bank continues to be one of Malta’s strongest financial institutions and an important cog in the local economy, as well as a reference point for customers who require a reliable financial partner for all their needs.”
BNF Bank’s Annual Financial Report for 2022 may be downloaded from here.