FDH Bank has declared an after-tax profit of K540 million (about $2.1m) in the first half of 2012. This is a 101 percent jump from last yearâ€™s profit of K268 million (about $1.0m), according to the bankâ€™s financial results published last week.
The bank has registered the profit despite operating in a tough environment characterised by the twin shortage of foreign exchange that brought some businesses to their knees and forced others to downsize.
National Bank of Malawi (NBM), Indebank and Standard Bank have also made impressive profits in the first half. Only NBM Bank cautioned its shareholders that it will not make profits in the first half.
In a statement, signed by the bankâ€™s directors Thom Mpinganjira and Dr EJ Sankhulani, FDH Bank has pledged to continue its focus on the development of its core activities and increasing its customer base.
â€œThis strategy has seen a significant increase in both deposit and loan portfolios, resulting in noticeable improvements in net interest income as well as increases in fee and commission income,â€ reads the bankâ€™s statement.
The bank said during the first half of 2012, it has opened a branch in Mangochi and launched an Internet banking platform that also includes inter-bank transfers and payments.
â€œThe continued investments in distribution networks, systems and human resources have resulted in a significant increase in the bankâ€™s operating expenditure.
â€œThese investments are in line with the bankâ€™s objective of building a solid foundation for future financial growth and superior customer service, and in line with its first five-year strategic plan approved in 2008,â€ reads the statement.
Looking forward, the bank said the second half of the year will continue to be challenging for the bank and its customers in view of the prevailing economic challenges facing the country.
The bank, however, was upbeat that the growth it has registered in the deposit and loan portfolio as well as in the investment will enable it to sustain the current levels of financial performance.
The bank plans to commission three more outlets in the second half so that it winds up the year with 12 outlets and to complete the expansion of its flagship branch, Umoyo House.
But the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) and Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) have accused the banks of profiteering, questioning how the banks can make such huge profits when the economy is shrinking.