Uganda: DFCU dragged down by Crane purchase as other banks report stellar profits

By Musinguzi Blanshe
Posted on Friday, 6 May 2022 20:18

A Ugandan businesswoman counts Ugandan shilling banknotes. SIPA/AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)

While Uganda’s banking sector recorded strong financial results for 2021, the Development Finance Company of Uganda (DFCU) Bank continues to reel from its acquisition of Crane Bank in 2017 and the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The third-largest domestic bank in Uganda in terms of assets recorded a 46% drop in profit to USh9.3bn ($2.6m) in 2021.

“DFCU Bank’s profit was significantly impacted by the loan impairment charge, resulting from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” CEO Mathias Katamba said in a financial statement last month.

The bank’s non-performing loan (NPL) portfolio increased from USh94bn in 2020 to more than USh274bn in 2021. This is largely due to DFCU’s ownership of local player Crane Bank, which it acquired in 2017 after the central bank put Crane under receivership following discoveries that the grossly mismanaged bank had insufficient capital levels, a shrinking liquidity ratio and surging loan defaults.