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National Commercial Bank Jamaica (File photo)

NCB Financial Group reports profit; plans for COVID impact

National Commercial Bank Jamaica (File photo)

The NCB Financial Group (NCBFG) is reporting profit of J$13.4 billion for six months ended March 31, 2020.

However, the Group said its performance in March was severely impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which led to an unprecedented downturn that month.

The NCBFG closed the six-month period with net profit of $13,357,402, an increase of $943 million over the comparable period of the previous year.

For the quarter, the Group earned net profit of $5.6 billion, lower than the $7.8 billion of the previous quarter but, bettering the $5 billion made in the same quarter last year.

“We have been assessing the impact…along with the projected impact on liquidity, capital and our general financial performance.”

– NCB Financial Group President and CEO, Patrick Hylton

Net profit attributable to the Group’s shareholders declined 23 per cent of $2.9 billion over the similar period in 2019 when the company had a one-off gain of $3.3 billion from its disposal of its stake in Jamaica Money Market Brokers.

The corporation’s Banking and Investment arm accounted for the bulk of its revenue, totaling $40 billion, an increase of 22 per cent or $7.3 billion. According to the Group’s unaudited financial results, net interest income increased by 40 per cent or $8 billion, primarily due to the consolidation of its Guardian Holding Limited (GHL) results.

Further, the NCBFG also saw growth in its loan portfolio, which accounted for 15 per cent of the increase in interest income.

Additionally, net fee and commission income growing by 39 per cent or $3.2 billion over the prior year, approximately half of this increase was attributable to the consolidation of GHL with the balance due to increased transaction volumes, the results revealed.

However, the increases were partially offset by a reduction in gain on foreign currency and investment activities of 82 per cent or $4.9 billion primarily due to losses on equity securities and reduced foreign exchange income compared to the prior year.

NCB Financial Group President and CEO, Patrick Hylton

Regarding the virus pandemic, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Hylton, said the company has been monitoring its developments across the region and has created task forces in its major subsidiaries to manage their respective response.

“We have been assessing the impact on our employees, customers, commercial partners, suppliers, communities and other stakeholders along with the projected impact on liquidity, capital and our general financial performance,” the NCB boss said.

Hylton said the company was working to make its services as accessible as possible and ensuring its self-service options are easy and convenient, adding that the Group will continue to minimise disruptions as the outbreak situation changes.  

Total assets at the NCB Financial Group currently stand at $1.6 trillion.