by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- GDB paid dividends to shareholders for the first time in 2016
- Bank providing support to micro small and medium enterprises in the productive sector
The non-performing loan ratio for the Grenada Development Bank (GDB) only represents 5% of the bank’s loan portfolio. This downward trajectory spells good news for the bank as the financial institution continues to embark upon its 5-year strategic plan which commenced in 2017.
However, the GDB was not always in a solid financial state, and in years gone by has had to revamp its governance structure in preparation for a turnaround in the bank’s financial situation.
GDB’s Credit Manager, Donald Williams says significant gains have been made with the bank being able to pay dividends to shareholders for the first time in 2016. “We moved from a situation where we had annual declines in the loan portfolio to where from 2014 onwards we saw annual growth with the portfolio moving to 26.3 million in 2015 to 53.7 million at the end of 2017 and currently is at 58.6 million. We have also moved from a situation to where for the last 3-4 years we have been generating operating profits and at the end of the financial year in 2016 for the first time in the history of the bank we were able to declare and pay dividends to shareholders, and 2017 for second time consecutively we were able to do so.”
At present, the GDB is celebrating its 53rd anniversary and is now boasting of having reduced its nonperforming loan from its portfolio from being in excess of 40 % to it now representing just 5%. “The bank was able to move from having 50% non-performing loans to our current situation where our NPL’s represent only 5% of our total portfolio and this puts us as the best performing development bank in OECS sub region.”
The bank now seeks to consolidate the gains made over the years through its new strategic plan. As a result, the bank officially launched its new and improved website on Wednesday, 18 July 2018 that will seek to better serve the community.
Williams says the bank is now focus driven on developing the micro small and medium enterprises in the productive sector by providing support by employing a business support development officer to carry out this mandate. “The bank cannot just provide loans, but we must provide support and to this end, we took on a business support development officer so that as we continue to finance the micro, small and medium enterprises we have someone who will work closely with them to ensure they succeed. Unlike other financial institutions while we have to operate and ensure that we are viable, we are not driven by profit but are driven by the mandate to finance the development of the local productive sector, human resource and housing for our low and middle-income citizens.”
With regards to the GDB’s newly redesigned website, the bank envisions that this will further aid in improving its marketing and communications and public relations visibility and corporate image. It displays a number of new products and services provided by the bank, one of which includes climate financing for community projects. The bank has also indicated that steps are being taken to seek accreditation from the Green Climate Fund to apply for funding directly.