With billions in profits & no ‘bad’ loans, Demerara Bank sees itself as a key partner for Guyana

-seen as an unprecedented achievement in Guyana’s banking history

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Demerara Bank, Guyana’s only indigenous bank, earned $2.9 billion in after-tax profits for the financial year ending September 30, 2022, even as the local economy grappled with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine/ Russia crisis.

The Bank also recorded no non-performing (or bad) loans, an unprecedented achievement in Guyana’s banking history.

The Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Pravichandra Dave, in an interview with the News Room on Monday, detailed some of the Bank’s successes this past year.

According to Dave, the recorded net profits were only a small part of what the Bank has been able to achieve. Other accomplishments include a sizable increase in bank advances, lower loan rates and the expansion of the Bank’s physical presence, particularly in underserved areas.

The Bank’s deposits also saw an increase of 15 per cent.

But what’s important, according to Dave, is that Demerara Bank is committed to Guyana’s development and sees itself as a crucial partner capable of promoting growth in key sectors and not just a body driven by profits.

The CEO said that 30 per cent of the Bank’s credit went to the agricultural sector, 16 per cent to the mining sector, 11 per cent to the oil and gas sector, and 7 per cent to the telecommunications sector. An additional 15 per cent of the Bank’s credit goes to commercial lending.

“Our portfolio is highly diversified. We are taking into consideration the three growth sectors of the economy: agricultural, mining and forestry,” the CEO said.

This distinguishes Demerara Bank from other local banks because it demonstrates the Bank’s concerted efforts to promote Guyana’s development.

“It is part of our responsibility as a bank. We want to be a driving force in Guyana’s economic growth,” Dave said.

Dave attributed these successes to the Bank’s sound appraisal and loan management practices.

Dowlat Parbhu, General Manager of Demerara Bank, also credited the Bank’s supportive staff with contributing to the Bank’s success in this regard.

With this year’s gains, Parbhu said that Demerara Bank will continue to make banking services easier and more accessible for Guyanese and people living in Guyana.

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