Banif strengthens position

After rapid growth in its first two years of operation, 2010 proved to be another successful year for Banif Bank (Malta) plc


Banif Bank plc started operations in Malta in January 2008 with the opening of its first branch in St. Julians. This was a true milestone for the Banif Group since it was the first time that the Group had set up a banking operation from scratch. Backed up by a group of successful Maltese investors, this project has grown swiftly and can today be counted (or considered) as a success story.

Banif Bank continued to strengthen its position in the local market and achieved remarkable growth in both the retail and corporate lending, and also in the deposit portfolio. This was the result of a sound positioning strategy complemented by a fully committed workforce and strong operational network.

Despite the challenges posed by the economic and financial situation worldwide, Banif Bank pursued its growth plans, by focusing on developing business operations. During this year, the bank reaffirmed its intentions to become the third largest commercial bank on the Maltese islands within the next two years.

Strategy and vision
Banif Bank’s vision is to create and offer a different banking experience based on an innovative product offering and high quality service standards based on trust and transparent banking centred round the individual client needs. This approach is based on the Centaur Values which provide guidance in all banks’ conduct and activities.

The Centaur Values reflect confidence in building long lasting relationships with the customers, the employees and the environment in which we live, based on rigour, integrity and openness; humanism in looking at people as individuals, with their own unique identity; effectiveness in the quality of the service offered in order to create value; innovation by addressing new trends and needs and act on these in an innovative way; and ambition which encourages every individual to have dreams and to have the “power of believing” that it is possible for these dreams to be achieved.

Financial performance
This financial year also presented challenges which were extraneous to Banif Bank.  However, notwithstanding the world wide economic crisis, the Bank continued to grow significantly both in terms of its lending and deposit portfolios, and the resultant operating income.

In spite of the fact that Banif is a relatively new entrant to the Maltese financial services sector, the results achieved throughout the year offer sound proof that the bank has performed well versus the market. The lending portfolio grew by 162 percent over 2009 whilst the deposit base grew by a further 197 percent by the end of the year.

Within just three years of operation, Banif Malta reached a penetration rate of around 5.7 percent of local community, thus it is well within reach of the 10 percent market share target set at the outset of its five year business plan. This will eventually position the bank as the smallest of the larger banks and the larger of the smallest banks – a position that will enable the bank to be more flexible and effective to operate in the market.

The bank is convinced to be moving in the right direction and it is greatly satisfying to see that others are acknowledging this success. The award for Best Banking Group in Malta in 2010, which was bestowed on the bank by World Finance is a clear demonstration that Banif is doing things the right way and is succeeding in its endeavour.

This award was given in recognition of the bank’s financial performance, sound corporate governance and provision of innovative customer solutions that provide added value. This important achievement would not have been made possible without the trust shown in us by our clients, employees and shareholders.

This is an important landmark in the bank’s short history that will inspire everyone at Banif to work even harder in order to achieve even more success in the future. This could not have been possible without the valid contribution and dedication of the employees who strive to provide timely, personalised and friendly service – putting the customers’ needs first by creating and delivering innovative and competitive banking products and services.
Future outlook
In 2011, Banif Malta will only need to look at the positive achievements conquered in its first years of operation to be encouraged to move on and face another year which will surely be characterised by further growth. Throughout the year ahead, the Bank will continue to invest further in infrastructural projects as well as maintaining its promise to its clients to offer advantageous offers in order to sustain a healthy and trusting relationship.

By the end of May 2011, the bank will add a new outlet to its chain of 8 retail branches in Malta and Gozo, making it the third largest Bank in Malta in terms of branch network. The Bank is also presently undertaking a 12-month project which will see the installation of the latest-generation of ATM machines that include cash recycling facilities. Banif will continue to invest in IT infrastructure including the enhancement of its electronic banking channels and recruit more people in order to be able to offer more value to its clients through innovative services and products.

Banif’s vision is built on a very simple idea – the power of believing. The Bank believes that this is only the beginning of a long journey that will see Banif go from strength to strength. A bank that will continue to deliver the high quality, innovation and service in everything it does. Banif Bank is today acknowledged as the alternative Maltese bank, and this means that it is succeeding.