At NCBF’s fourth investor briefing for the 2017 financial year, NCB Group Finance and Deputy Managing Director, Dennis Cohen gave a brief review of the Group’s record performance in 2017 and non-financial highlights. NCBFG for the 2017FY produced record profits for both the Group and for a listed company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE). The Group surpassed its 2016FY profits of $14.45 billion by 32% to close the year at $19.11 billion. This achievement was accomplished as the first full year results as the NCB Financial Group (NCBFG). Mr. Cohen attributed the feat to the, “direct result of the commitment of the management team, the dedication of our employees and the loyalty of our customers.” Mr. Cohen was also pleased to declare a dividend of $0.60 to be paid to shareholders, which approved following a board meeting held yesterday. The Deputy Managing Director indicated, “this is payable on December 6th, 2017, for stockholders on record as at November 24th, 2017.”
Mr. Cohen further noted, “in addition to retaining our number one position in the country, we are particularly proud of being ranked number four in the region based on pre-tax profits by the financial times. It was our aspiration to be within the top five financial institutions within the region and this offers independent validation of our progress.” This progress sees the Group placing more emphasis on the digital front as Mr. Cohen stated, “we have gained momentum in developing distinctive digital capabilities.” This has led to the creation of the first Agile and Digital Lab to drive digital solutions.”
Our recent acquisition and our growing presence in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Cayman reflect our regional aspirations.”
In addition to review of the Group’s performance in 2017 by Mr. Cohen, Mr. Hylton, NCBFG Managing Director, shared his thoughts on the performance and shed some light on the Group from a strategic perspective. In his opening remarks he noted, “today is a day in which we celebrate our record performance by our institution.” He went on to emphasize on the Group’s aim of continuous improvement which sees the bar being set higher each year. Mr. Hylton added, “we are committed to doing that and we have been successful in doing that this year.” he also expressed that this performance could not be achieved without the customers, staff and management of the bank.
Mr. Hylton noted, “the close of the financial year ended September 30, 2017, really marks the first year in the execution of our new strategy which we have dubbed NCB 2.0, Faster, Simpler, Stronger. The performance validates that fact that the strategy is appropriate in the context of the circumstances.” The Group’s new strategy focuses on building a world class digital experience, accelerating regional expansion and reinventing our core business. Mr. Hylton shared a few talking points for each key strategic focus:
- Online account opening, the first product out of the digital lab. This product according to Mr. Hylton has reduce the amount of time taken to open an account for existing customers down to five minutes.
- Pre-approved loans which is expected to be rolled out in this quarter, will take approximately fifteen minutes for online fulfillment.
- Cash in thirty: another loan product in the digital lab, reduces the loan processing time for cash secured loans from three days to thirty minutes. The Managing Director noted that this product is expected to be rolled out towards the end of November 2017.
- Accelerating regional expansion: Speaing on regional expansion, Mr. Hylton stated, “we have expanded into Barbados through NCB Capital Markets, we have enhanced our product offerings in Cayman. We have also acquired a significant shareholding in Guardian Holdings Group. We have been focused on optimizing those investments through a number of strategic initiatives, through a number of new product developments and pushing a number of initiatives across the various regions in which we operate.”
- Reinventing our core business:
- Efficiency Optimization: According to Mr. Hylton, “we have been looking at our branch network, in terms of optimizing and tailoring it to better meet the needs of the communities in which we operate. We have begun a process of tighter integration of our general insurance business with our existing banking and other financial services, so as to have a broader range of offerings in the same location.” Notably, the Group recently completed the building of a new financial center in Fairview in Montego Bay which will be opening on Monday November 13, 2017.
In concluding the meeting, clients, staff and other stakeholders of the bank were thanked for the various roles they played in contributing to NCBFG’s record performance.