Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Sagicor Bank grows credit card portfolio

Published:Sunday | May 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Sagicor Bank Jamaica Limited, the fourth largest of eight commercial banks, revealed that it nearly doubled its credit card business in the single year, issuing thousands of new cards to customers.

The bank, which operates 16 branches nationwide, said its expansion of customers with credit cards was a strategy to ramp up revenue.

"Of significance is the issuing of over 16,000 new credit cards issued in 2017. The strategies surrounding these areas continue in the coming financial year," said Chairman Richard Byles in the bank's newly released annual report.

This translated to 97 per cent increase in credit card spend, and 45 per cent increase in point-of-sale spend between 2016 and 2017, said the report. Both credit card and point-of-sale activities are incorporated in the bank's 'card and payments' segment, which grew revenue by two-thirds, from $1.8 billion to $3 billion.

During the financial year 2017, the bank also recorded milestones, which included major deals and syndications.

"In fact, our turnaround time for a major syndication deal to the tune of $17 billion currently boasts the record," said Byles.

Sagicor Bank's non-performing loans remain low, at 3.1 per cent of total loans, which indicate customers are repaying their debts. The loan portfolio grew 9.2 per cent year on year to $61.1 billion.

The increased activity grew Sagicor Bank's top line, but also added costs that hurt growth at the bottom line. The bank reported after-tax profits of $1.8 billion for the year ended December 2017, a decrease of five per cent from $1.9 billion the previous year. The decline was attributed to increases in credit losses and strengthening of the Jamaican dollar against the United States dollar.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com