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First Citizens’ loss on loans improves

Published: 
Saturday, January 3, 2015

Although non-performing loans (NPLs) are climbing industry-wide, First Citizens Bank has narrowed its impairment loss on loans and its profitability margins have increased year-on-year, a spokesperson for the bank said in response to a T&T Guardian query. 

Asked about a Moody’s Investors Service report which said the bank’s NPLs are at “historical levels” while profitability margins are shrinking, group corporate communications manager Dexter Charles said: “We did take the comments on this report into consideration, but this report is over a month old and based on our half year results for 2013/2014.”

He said: “Generally, we note that industry-wide NPLs are climbing and interest margins are falling, locally, regionally and internationally.  If you refer to our published year end financials you will get a more up-to-date position. Our year-end report clearly shows that our profitability and interest margins have increased year-on-year.” In its consolidated financial statements for the year ended September 30, FCB’s “impairment loss on loans, net of recoveries” was $12.87 million versus $35.17 million in 2013.

The Moody’s report had said: “After spiking in 2011 to 4.6 per cent from around 1 per cent in prior years, non-performing loans (NPL) at First Citizens bank remained high at 4.3 per cent of gross loans as of June 2014.” According to the notes to the financial statements for the year ended September 30, loans to customers neither past due nor impaired, totalled $8.77 billion versus $8.85 billion in 2013. Loans to customers past due but not impaired totaled $2.17 billion in 2014 versus $2.49 billion in 2013.

Individually impaired loans to customers amounted to $520.26 million in 2014, or 4.54 per cent of the gross total loans to customers, versus $504.48 million in 2013, or 4.26 per cent of the gross total loans to customers.

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