Letter from our CEO 2021
2021 became another challenging year but with some light at the end of the tunnel
I had hoped that 2021 would have been the year we finally could say “goodbye” to the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on us all, but unfortunately Covid-19 continued primarily in the beginning of the year and created uncertainty and challenges for everyone.
Thankfully, the burden of the pandemic faded during the year, and we all came back to normality or whatever we can call normal nowadays.
TNB has been deeply rooted into the local community for more than 165 years. We have always believed that we are a truly local bank and our aim for 2021 was to ensure that we continued to connect with our customers and our community in a positive and engaging manner.
Therefore, I was very delighted we could announce in July that Midtown Park (now known as Campion Park) has been entirely funded by the Board and shareholders of TNB. This is just one of the ways we aim to show that we are a truly local bank by giving something back to the community in which we are deeply rooted.
We believe it is important to have nature in our close surroundings. As Gibraltar’s urban areas continue to develop and prosper, TNB is committed to contributing towards a healthier environment for our community to enjoy.
Strong financial numbers
Our balance sheet continued to strengthen in 2021, which has shown a significant increase in our loan book and assets under management. The record low interest environment combined with the Bank of England base rate being 0.1% during most of 2021, continued to put pressure on our net interest income. We saw inflation rocketing in 2021 which led to the Bank of England to announce its first hike in base rate in nearly 21 months. Overall, due to our robust balance sheet where we have ensured not to compromise its financial strength, the net profit for the financial year was up by 33% compared to the previous year.
From a long-term perspective, a wide range of issues and risks were reviewed to ensure organisational resilience and the responsiveness of the Bank. With the evolving environment, particularly in relation to technology, we started a fundamental project which entails the changing of our core IT platform; this project is called “Project Bloom”. I expect we will be operating on the new platform by the beginning of 2023. We aim for more streamlined processes, which will not only benefit our employees but of course our clients. Ultimately, our goal is to deliver a personal and out of the ordinary customer experience.
Although we have a new name 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.
As 2021 is now behind us, we will continue to deliver value in different forms for all our stakeholder groups: customers, employees, society, and shareholders. Enhancing our services and products to customers as well as supporting innovation in society will continue to be part of the agenda together with focusing on ensuring and continuing employee engagement, which has been second to none in the organisation.
In 2021 we have significantly increased our marketing efforts, to ensure that Gibraltar, as a community, is aware of the services we can deliver, and I am confident that the people of Gibraltar will soon consider TNB to be The Bank of Choice.