Record loss for Land Bank

HARARE - The recently launched Land Bank has plunged from a profit of Z$31.5 million to a loss of Z$103.1 million, but management is not worried about this loss, which was exceptional in the banking sector where some institutions recorded profits eight times those of last year, because it is consoli

dating its position.
The bank says it made a provision for bad debt of $714 million to handle the difficulties in its agricultural loan portfolio. It, however, says it now has the capacity to handle an anticipated wide customer base.
The bank established 13 city branches and 37 national offices. Net interest income dropped from $221.3 million to $45 million but other income shot up from $62 million to$129.7 million resulting in operating income standing at $175.2 million, down from $283.3 million.
Operating costs, which increased from $251.9 million to $278.3 million, wiped out the operating profit plunging the bank into a loss of $103.1 million.
The bank, however, says its aim of becoming the national bank of first choice as well as profitability are both achievable, but it warns: “the process might be long and sometimes painful”. – Own correspondent

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