Letter from our CEO 2020
2020 has been tough for everyone.
I’d like to begin by expressing my support and sympathy to all the families that have suffered as a result of the unprecedented pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic left a deep mark on TNB, Gibraltar, and the rest of the world. Covid-19 has taught us a lot of things, but most importantly, that change is inevitable, and it is how we react to change that really determines the type of institution we really are.
Strength in the numbers
The 2020 financial year has seen us navigate through a very difficult economic, market and business environment with a profound human impact. But with a balanced business model, strong culture and customer-focused approach, we entered the Covid-19 crisis in a strong position to deliver a resilient performance over this unprecedented period.
The impact of Covid-19 has been felt across the Bank’s core business. A highly liquid balance sheet in GBP denominated assets is sensitive to interest rate changes at the Bank of England. Certainly, the record-low interest rate environment continued to suppress the Bank’s net interest income, with excess liquidity invested mostly in low-yielding assets. However, we made prudent structural changes to the composition of our liquid assets in 2020 while supporting organic growth in the loan book to lift net interest income going into 2021. Additionally, we have continued to build a healthy core business and a strong capital position.
During these troubling times, TNB donated £200,000 to the Gibraltar Disease Prevention Fund, to help Gibraltar combat the disease.
Although we have a new identity as a bank, we remain true to our identity as a value-based organisation. Our clients know this, and for this reason they have also remained loyal to us, even through the changes and challenges.
Our Relationship Managers have also seen more willingness in clients to diversify their investments and take advantage of new opportunities. This gives us the confidence that, even faced with the uncertainty within the financial markets, our clients remain assured.
TNB of tomorrow
Our strategy is to continue to maintain a strong local presence, not just as a local bank but also as an integral part of the community. We are actively working with local charities and organisations to help young adults to build skills to enter further education, internships and employment opportunities.
This is just the beginning. We are focussing our efforts in increasing our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to ensure we are constantly giving back to the community in a meaningful manner.
In respect to our business, it’s evident the world of banking has significantly changed and is reinventing itself. There has been a of lot of volatility in the financial markets in the last year and we expect this for the foreseeable future. Previously, we were able to generate a margin profit from deposits, which is no longer the case; this is true for all banks. We are working towards adapting to the new way of Banking and modernising the way we work, starting with our internal systems.
We need to understand that change is inevitable, and we need to be agile as people and as an organisation to embrace the changes ahead of us.
As we look forward to 2021, we will continue to work on our development, seek new opportunities, and continue to deliver growth and diversification.
Finally, 2020 has been a year of reflection, and I want to conclude by thanking my colleagues for their commitment, and for everything they do for TNB and our customers every single day. I feel grateful to lead such a group of people.