ANSA Merchant Bank and its insurance companies Tatil and Tatil Life generated record revenue and net income last year, chairman A. Norman Sabga has stated.

However, unprecedented uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic means that shareholders will not be getting an additional dividend payment at this time.

“We increased Profit Before Tax by 37 per cent year on year to $357 million on Total Operating Income of $1.1 billion, reflecting robust underlying performances across all our businesses,” Sabga stated.

“Total Equity increased by $169 million or seven per cent year over year to $2.54 billion, while our Total Assets grew by three per cent to surpass $8 billion 2019,” he stated.

“Our Earnings per share in 2019 increased by 34 per cent to $3.24 compared to 2018 of $2.41,” he stated.

Sabga said during the year a new core banking platform was successfully installed at Ansa Merchant Bank and a new Accident and Health system was installed at Tatil.

“We expect to see tangible improvements in efficiency and customer service in the coming years as a result of the implementation of these new automated systems,” Sabga stated.

Last year, Ansa Merchant Bank entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the Bank of Baroda (Trinidad and Tobago).

“The acquisition is scheduled to be completed and funded in 2020, subject to all the terms and conditions of the relevant agreements including, without limitation, matters that may arise from COVID-19 and to all approvals being received,” he stated.

“In view of unprecedented uncertainty in global financial markets and economies due to the widespread impact of the pandemic, Ansa Merchant Bank has decided it would not be prudent to pay a further dividend at this time,” Sabga stated.

“We are confident that shareholders will enjoy an increased return on their reinvested capital in the future given our investments in technology and acquisitions, which are expected to enhance our suite of products and services regionally,’ he stated.

The directors approved the total dividend at $0.20 per share for the year ended 31 December 2019 which was already paid as the interim dividend.