…deposit base, loans show increaseDays after he celebrated his 90th birthday, Demerara Bank Limited Chairman Dr Yesu Persaud can also celebrate his bank’s strong performance for last year, when it recorded a net profit of $2 billion.According to a statement from the bank, for the year ended September 30, 2018, it recorded a gross profit before taxes of $3.1 billion and a net profit of $2 billion.The bank noted that the gross profit is an increase of 31 per cent over the previous year’s profit, while net profit showed an increase of 28 per cent over the said period.The bank’s deposit base rose to $58.2 billion, as compared to $57 billion in 2017; while loans and advances grew from $25.46 billion to $26.8 billion. Managing net non-performing advances remain a challenge throughout the banking sector in Guyana, the bank stated.However, despite these challenges, Demerara Bank, in the year 2018, recorded a reduction in net non-performing advances from $783 million to $672 million. The fiscal year was such an excellent year for the Bank that its Board of Directors declared a favourable payment of dividends to the shareholders — with a final dividend payment of 100 per cent, while the interim dividend paid of 35 per cent is overall the highest ever paid.The Bank gave credit to its founder and Chairman, Dr Yesu Persaud, in noting that it has been able to double its assets every six years while maintaining its profit. The Bank noted that it has been able to maintain a sizable lending portfolio, with only a small percentage of non-performing loans.According to Demerara Bank, it has not only designed business strategies aimed at strong financial performance, but it is also one of the Ambassadors for Guyana’s Green Initiative, contributing by operating most of its branches on solar energy to reduce its carbon footprint.Dr Persaud recently celebrated his 90th birthday, and the Bank made mention that its remarkable performance is a great gift to him, since he has been the visionary behind establishment of this truly indigenous commercial bank.He was challenged by many financial experts that an indigenous bank would never be successful without cooperation from foreign entities.The Bank also gave a commitment to maintaining its efforts to transform for long-term success. It noted that its officials are optimistic that the investments they are making would result in growth over the long term.“They mentioned the Bank is steadfast (in wishing) to living up to its mission; that is, to excel in providing innovative and superior banking services through well trained, dedicated and courteous staff, in the interest of their customers and shareholders; and to fulfill their social responsibilities through meaningful involvement in community development,” the bank said.