Standard Chartered Bank Kenya's net profit for the first nine months of the year fell marginally to Sh6.22 billion on reduced income, breaking ranks with other tier I lenders that have booked growth.
The drop, from previous similar period’s Sh6.31 billion, came as the bank kept the loan book flat at Sh119 billion to avoid piling fresh non-performing loans (NPLs).
Interest income declined by six percent to Sh19.1 billion, weighed down by declining yields and lower investment in government securities.
Total interest expense decreased by 24 percent to Sh4.4 billion from proactive management of the balance sheet even as customer deposits jumped 2.4 percent to Sh225 billion.
The bank said non-interest income, which comes mainly from fees and commissions, was flat at Sh7 billion impacted by a slowdown in corporate finance.
Operating expenses rose by Sh113 million to Sh12.48 billion partly driven by investments in technology, cyber security and staff.
The muted rise in costs was supported by 61 percent cut in provisioning for NPLs to Sh728 million from Sh1.87 billion in comparative period last year. Gross NPLs closed the quarter at Sh19.9 billion, eight percent down from the end of last year.
“Our digital investments to transform the bank, develop and scale new business models continue apace”, said CEO Kariuki Ngari.