NCBA has recorded an after-tax profit growth of 49 per cent to Kes5.1 billion in the three months ending March this year.

The lender has attributed the growth to higher operating income.

Operating income increased BY 18 per cent to Kes 15.5 billion, while credit loss provision declined by 23 per cent to Kes 2 billion.

Improved performance came from tough macroeconomic challenges that saw the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) increase lending rates to ease inflation.

NCBA Group Managing Director John Gachora noted that the strong operating results are attributable to a continued focus on the lender's strategic priorities, growth of customer numbers, and regional entities' profitability improvement.

 “Our market-leading forex capabilities have led to an increased customer base and transaction volumes,” he added.

Further, Kes223 billion in digital loans was disbursed, having grown 37 per cent yearly.

Increased digital loans were issued through its M-Shwari and Fuliza platforms.

Customers using Fuliza, the biggest credit service for NCBA, are charged a one per cent fee of the amount disbursed and an extra Kes36 every day when the loan is not repaid.

M-Shwari was first unveiled in 2012 by Safaricom and NCBA. It later partnered with KCB to roll out Fuliza seven years later.

During the period, client deposits grew seven per cent to Kes500 billion.

“We have a stable and growing deposit base which indicates our ability to invest and attract more retail and corporate customers by offering a greater superior experience and convenience through a bigger network,” Gachora stated.