Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the UAE’s fourth-largest bank by assets, has reported a 17 per cent increase in profit in 2015, boosted by income from its consumer and wholesale banking operations despite the challenging economic environment.

The Abu Dhabi government-controlled lender said net income for the year rose to a record AED4.9bn ($1.3bn). Total assets for the period reached AED228bn, a 12 per cent year-on-year increase, ADCB said in a stock exchange filing.

The lender’s net income from consumer banking operations advanced 36 per cent year-on-year, while its wholesale banking segment recorded a 65 per cent increase in profit.

Net loans and advances also climbed to AED154bn, a 9 per cent jump from 2014. Financing within the UAE accounted for 90 per cent of the bank’s loans portfolio last year. Customers’ deposits also increased by 14 per cent to AED144bn, helping the lender to marginally reduce its advances-to-stable-deposits ratio to 88.2 per cent and push its loan-to-deposit ratio down to 107.1 per cent.

Non-performing loans, however, climbed to AED4.8bn in 2015, compared with AED4.6bn at the end of 2014.

Banks have faced increased pressure from the UAE central bank in recent months to maintain permissible limits in various ratios such as the eligible liquid asset ratio, the advances-to-stable-resources ratio and the loan-to-deposit ratio – some of the indicators of a lender’s financial health.

Scrutiny of financial institutions has intensified as liquidity in the UAE banking system gets tighter. The price of crude – the sale of which is the major source of income for the oil-exporting country, especially Abu Dhabi – has dropped about 70 per cent since June 2014. Proceeds from oil have been the most stable deposit base for the banks, but these have depleted in 2015 as the government withdrew funds in order to meet the budget shortfalls.