CRDB Bank first virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was attended by 1,500 shareholders has unanimously approved dividend increase of over 100 percent.
The AGM also unveiled plans to open a subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The shareholders online meeting okayed dividend of 17/-a share with its payment scheduled to start today for financial year that ended last December an increase from the 8/-per share that was issued in 2018.
CRDB Chairman Mr Ally Laay said, when presenting a report for all the three business groups within the bank, expressed gratitude to shareholders for joining the meeting as well as their committed support, which has made the lender wax stronger.
He said, “The board has adopted strategic initiatives that seek to provide investors with a stronger, stable and sustainable form of capital distribution so as to maximise long-term share value for shareholders whilst collaborating with the management to inculcate a high-performance culture that will yield positive returns”
Mr Laay also announced that the group has its eye on growth prospects "in new markets and is currently very well positioned to make entry into DRC"
According to the Pan-African bank, plans were afoot for the AGM to be held mid last month at the Arusha International Conference before the novel coronavirus crisis supervened, making the innovators to go 100 percent live on digital platform.
Speaking at the online AGM, the Group CEO and Managing Director of CRDB, Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela, said the lender businesses continue to improve with growth in all key indicators, such as loans and advances, deposits and assets.
"Our customer base also grew by 50 percent across the Group from 2 million to 3 million. Overall customer satisfaction has shown positive trends, as a result of our transformational efforts in digitizing our customer feedback routes and service touch points,” Mr Nsekela said.
The bank chief said further that the Group has improved its asset quality by reducing the Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) from 8.3 percent to 5.5 percent, which is the biggest improvement, compared to an industry average currently pegged at 11 per cent.
“On the innovation front, we keep soaring. In the last financial year, we have launched several innovative financing solutions for different sectors and customer segments aiming at addressing financial challenges that impede growth,” the Group CEO states.
Speaking on the Groups earnings, Frederick Nshekenabo, CRDB Bank’s Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO), said earnings remained strong with the Group expanding its overall market share in Tanzania to slightly above 20 percent.
The CFO further notes that the Group’s Return on Equity (ROE), improved near-double to 14.7 per cent, a rate higher than the industry average currently at 8.0 per cent and that net interest income grew 19 percent to 526bn/-, driven by retail loans, investment in government securities and reduced funding costs. Non-Interest Income grew by 15 percent to 253bn/-.
Most of shareholders in attendance commended the Board of Directors for the decision to go ahead with the AGM by virtual means reiterating that it was a proof of the bank's preparedness and agility.
One of the shareholder Mr Mchiwa Madumba Chedego, said the virtual AGM has been a testament to the bank's innovation drive that enhances banking experiences and should become a common AGM practice to ensure stakeholder access from anywhere in the world.
"The result is encouraging and the dividend is growing. We urge the Board, Management and Staff to continue in this positive direction. We look forward to seeing more value and gains this year,” he said.
The bank posted a profit after tax of 120.1bn/-for the year ended last December, representing an 87 per cent growth from 64bn/-reported in 2018.
CRDB Group also comprises of CRDB Bank Insurance Brokerage and CRDB Bank Burundi, which is the first overseas subsidiary in the neighbouring Burundi, a part of the regional expansion plan in East Africa.