Emerging out of a rather disruptive legal entanglement, the former FiBank now Vista Bank under new owners seems to be cautiously finding its feet in the challenging COVID- 19 plagued economy. This is reflective of its stuttering start in the local banking industry. Most notable is its 0.52% improvement in its year-on-year Profit Before Tax which rose by Le144.7million, moving from Le27.7 billion in 2018 to Le27.8 billion in 2019. Perhaps re-gaining the confidence of customers, the Bank recorded an increase of 8.5% in fresh deposits of Le28billion moving the Le300.4 billion funds held in 2018 to Le328.4 billion in 2019.
The volume of traditional banking trade in Loans and Advances dropped substantially by 36.5%, mirroring apparent hesitation by the new owners in the face of a market with exceptionally high non-performing loans. The portfolio dropped by Le41.9billion from Le114.7 billion in 2018 to Le72.8billion in 2019. This might explain the heavy move what the World Bank refers to as “lazy banking” in investment (Govt. treasury bills and bearer bonds) securities with a substantial 81.7% input seen with the pumping of Le160.5 billion showing a noticeable hike from Le35.8 billion to Le196.3 billion. The returns from this move might well yield some appreciable profits in the 2020 financials.
However for the 2018 to 2019 period the revenue from fees and commissions was 7.9% or Le991.1 million from Le11.6billion in 2018 to Le12.5billion in 2019. This was to be expected given the drop in loans and advances. The new management however did well in recovering some bad loans (impairment) showing a 77.7% recovery of Le25.8 billion which is an improvement from Le7.4 billion in 2018 to Le33.2 billion in 2019.
Overall there was a 6.7% drop in the assets base in monetary value of Le28.2billion from Le422.7 billion to Le394.4 billion in 2019. More so its liabilities showed a 7.8% dip of about Le30 billion from Le385.5 billion in 2018 to Le355.5 billion in 2019. This worked out to a perceptible increase of 4.5% in Equity of Le1.8billion from Le37.2billion to about Le39billion belying the cautious nature of the new management to work the books. After paying taxes of Le8.7billion the year-on-year Profits After Tax increased by 3.2% or Le628.8 million from about Le19 billion in 2018 to about Le19.6billion in 2019.