On the back of a 28 per cent increase in profits last year, the country’s largest bank Acleda Bank said it would increase its focus on development of its electronic banking infrastructure in the ASEAN region, but had no plans of going public yet, according to the bank’s CEO In Channy.
The bank’s unaudited financial results show that the bank increased profit after tax from $82 million in 2014 to $105 million last year. Bank deposits grew 18 per cent to $2.6 billion in 2015, whereas outstanding loans saw a 23 per cent uptick and stood at $2.4 billion, Channy told the Post.
“The factor contributing to profit growth is the efficient management of our expenditure last year,” Channy said. “And if you look at the loan growth, we see that it has not increased as much as it had in 2014, when we had 30 per cent growth.”
According to Channy, the bank increased its profits partly due to an increase in the use of electronic and mobile banking, which will become their main focus going into 2016.
“People do not need to come to the branches because they can make transactions on electronic devices and mobile phones, so we do not have to invest on increasing our staff.”
With a total of 800,000 ATM cards in the country, Acleda will now directly issue customers with MasterCard ATM cards, enabling their customers the added luxury of withdrawing cash from any bank’s ATM machine.
“Previously, customers had to apply for a Visa or MasterCard, but now we plan to introduce 300,000 MasterCard ATM cards,” he said.
The bank, which also has a presence in Myanmar and Laos, will look to increase their presence in those countries, with plans to get a commercial banking licence in Myanmar.
“After we get a license to run a commercial bank, we will expand more but that will take 10 to 15 years,” he said.
Despite the bank’s successful performance in the Kingdom, Channy said the bank was not looking at going public, given that the bank had convenient access to capital.
“Our shareholders are big banks from around the world and they have enough capital capacity. So they can fund us if we have a need for capital and there is no plan to go public yet,” he said.