NTB’s steady progress in first half of 2005
Nations Trust Bank continued its steady progress with an operating profit of Rs 99.4 million for the six months ended June 2005, up from Rs.71.4 million in the same period last year, the bank said in a statement.

Net interest income rose to Rs 408.9 million from Rs 268.3 million for the same period last year, up by 52 percent, as a result of good growth in both advances and lower cost deposits. Fees and Other Income too rose from Rs.208 million to Rs 269 million, an increase of 29 percent, it said.

Costs excluding loan loss provisioning increased by 28 percent, mainly due to the additional costs of running the six new branches opened during the course of 2004. “In keeping with the Bank’s conservative policy of loss provisioning, provision has been made for all known and potential bad debts. The increased provisioning for the period includes ‘hair cut’ provisions in line with the new Central Bank regulations, and the credit card portfolio which is now reaching a level of maturity. In addition, the Bank also follows a general provisioning policy of 1% of advances,” the statement said.

Compared to the end of 2004, Customer Deposits increased from Rs 10.4 billion to Rs 12.3 billion while Loans and Advances rose from Rs 9.2 billion to Rs 10.7. The bank also launched its leasing business at the end of last year and this has grown in line with expectations.

The branch expansion programme was deferred to later this year, to enable the consolidation of the branch network, with only the Kadawatha branch being opened in June. The bank also launched the first off-site cheque deposit box at the Lanka IOC multi- service station at Panadura which has proved quite popular with the customers.

Chief Executive Officer NTB, Zulfiqar Zavahir said, “we are now seeing the results of the focused implementation of a well thought out strategy and are quite pleased with the steady progress made so far. We have a relatively young but very committed team, who are determined to make a difference in the Sri Lankan banking industry.”

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