POSB registers growth amid economic turbulence

POSB chief executive officer Garainashe Changunda

NET operating income at the People's Own Savings  Bank (POSB) grew by 345% to ZWL$407,04 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023 compared to the prior year, a reflection of a positive business growth despite the inflationary pressures.

Net profit for the period stood at ZWL$110,16 billion.

Operating expenses increased by 191% to ZWL$204,36 billion as the bank continued to implement effective cost management strategies in order to remain profitable.

Total assets grew by 170% to ZWL$509,90 billion by December 2023. On the same note, total deposits increased by 151% to ZWL$257,26 billion.

The capital adequacy ratio at 56,57% in inflation adjusted terms exceeded the prescribed minimum regulatory ratio of 12% and enables the bank to meet all prudential lending guidelines.

The Zimbabwean economy faces an uncertain global economic outlook due to geopolitical tensions, climate shocks and exchange rate volatility.

“Despite these challenges, the bank will continue to create value for its stakeholders through the introduction of new products as well as effectively utilising the existing products,” POSB chief executive officer Garainashe Changunda said in a statement accompanying the financial results for the year ended December 31, 2023.

“The bank is now at an advanced stage of completing the implementation of the Omni-Channel solution which is expected to improve customer experience.”

In an effort to continue improving customer experience and bring convenience to customers, the bank embarked on the implementation of the Omni-Channel project which allows customers to access banking services through multiple channels and to switch between channels seamlessly.

In March 2023, the bank launched the Mastercard Gold debit and Prepaid cards. The Mastercard Gold debit card has dual functionality, which means customers can transact in both the local currency and the United States dollar (USD).

On the other hand, the prepaid card is a load- and-go card which customers can prefund and enjoy transacting across borders. This product is expected to improve customer retention, increase foreign currency deposits and generate USD income for the bank.

POSB acting board chairperson Israel Ndlovu said despite the expected decline in economic growth, the bank would remain focused on the delivery of its mandate of providing affordable and efficient services to its customers.

Furthermore, the bank will continue to implement initiatives to deliver value to its customers in order to fulfil the financial inclusion agenda.

The government has projected a decline in economic growth from 5,3% in 2023 to 5,2% in 2024 while the International Monetary Fund has projected a decline from 4,1% in 2023 to 3,6% in 2024.

This is mainly attributed to the negative impact of the El Nino phenomenon which the country is experiencing.

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