David Power during the Town Hall / BNF Bank

BNF Bank’s strategic focus on technology and infrastructure investment will continue “enhancing customer experience while consistently delivering strong financial performance,” said CEO David Power in his opening statement to the bank’s latest annual report.

In 2023, BNF Bank completed the licensing process for a UK third-country branch and fulfilled its capital plan objectives, thereby successfully concluding its Vision 2023 Strategy and putting it on course achieve its strategic priorities.

These priorities include advancing technology and infrastructure, fostering sustainable growth and expanding its international presence.

Supporting this plan is major investment into a “significant technological transformation,” a journey Mr Power said is set to extend into 2024. The transformation involves enhancing digital capabilities, accessibility, and user-friendliness for both customers and staff, facilitating sustainable growth and enabling the bank to better address the evolving banking needs of its clients.

Mr Power added that “while Malta remains our primary market, we are committed to providing customers with expanded international borrowing options, primarily through our UK branch.”

BNF Bank’s UK branch engages in secured bilateral and syndicated loans characterised by conservative loan-to-value ratios, backed by central and prime immovable property assets, he said.

The bank reported a positive financial performance with a profit before tax of €13 million, a 6.75 per cent increase over 2022, largely driven by an increase in net interest income. Net fees and commission income and other ancillary income also contributed to a net operating income for 2023.

The cost-to-income ratio increase from 61.7 per cent to 65.1 per cent, reflecting the technological investment the bank is undergoing.

Mr Power said the bank anticipates that its achievements and strategic focus “will continue to drive robust financial performance,” supported by “a comprehensive capital plan to sustain our momentum moving forward.”

BNF Bank’s Board of Directors has proposed a net dividend of €0.045 per nominal share, totalling €4,489,300.

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