The bank’s bottom line was boosted by a 15.5 per cent hike in net interest income to £E 27.4 million ($6 million), and a 22 per cent improvement in income from banking fees and commissions which grew almost £E 17 million ($4 million) to £E 92.5 million ($20 million). The rise in this non-interest earnings stemmed in part from a 25 per cent increase in NSGB’s net loan portfolio.

In line with banks across the region, NSGB undertook a substantial increase in provisions, which rose by 68 per cent to £E 53.6 million ($12 million).

NSGB officials said on 25 February that they were pleased with the bank’s performance in 2001, during which it opened 11 new branches. Another branch opened in January, and a further nine are expected to start operations by the end of this year.