Responding to the COVID-19 crisis and upholding our resilience

In 2020, we witnessed the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies, businesses, societies, individuals and families as infections stemming from the virus rocketed around the world. Notwithstanding wide-ranging measures taken by the authorities to mitigate the socio-economic crisis, markets in Mauritius, our foreign presence countries and the wider region have not been spared. In Mauritius, following the detection of the first positive cases, the authorities have imposed a lockdown, starting 20 March 2020. A strict curfew order was imposed as from 23 March to break the circuit of transmission of the virus and was ended on 30 May, after which socio-economic activities have gradually resumed across the country. Since 15 June, all business and activity lockdowns have been lifted, but, with the wearing of masks compulsory and our international borders remaining closed, certain sectors of the economy such as those linked to tourism are still operating at sub optimal level.

MCB Group responded to the changing operating landscape in a prompt and orderly manner. With the support of our employees, we took pragmatic steps to ensure continuity of service and have, since, reviewed business development priorities in terms of scope and magnitude to focus on the more immediate needs of our markets.
Guided by our set protocols and the dedication of both our Management teams and employees, business continuity was ensured as regard client transactions processing, while we notably attended to payment of salaries and social welfare allowances. Prior to the lockdown period in Mauritius, we had finalised our Pandemic Preparedness Plan for the organisation as a whole, after discussions with the authorities and aligning ourselves with advocated practices. We set up a Crisis Management Team (CMT) to provide direction and guidance to oversee an effective and coordinated management of action plans and initiatives aimed to cope with the pandemic and consistently ensure minimal service delivery across our Group entities and presence countries. The responsible members of each stream (Staff, Operations, Business, Communication, Risk, Liquidity/Funding, Regulatory, Retail, Overseas and Local Subsidiaries) within the CMT have worked towards ensuring the smooth running of their respective activities. The CMT met virtually on a daily basis to coordinate and manage the activities of the organisation, with regular updates from the Pandemic Operations Team, which was established to ensure a seamless coordination between different areas of the organisation during the lockdown period. Of note, in addition to being guided by business continuity measures, our foreign banking subsidiaries established their own Crisis Management Teams and Pandemic Response Plans to oversee their day-to-day operations, with mechanisms in place being adapted to local circumstances and inherent business realities.

Across Group entities, Work From Home (WFH) practices and split teams were, during lockdown periods, put into place to maintain continuity of business operations and delivery of customer service (albeit to minimal levels) as well as reduce risks of contamination and contagion. Our contingency plan contained well-established processes that facilitated the execution of WFH on a large scale, while maintaining to the minimum possible on-site employees during the peak of the pandemic. The modus operandi was put in place in a prompt manner and, despite the very short notice, most of our arrangements worked as planned. With the end of lockdown period, we resumed work on-site in a phased manner, in accordance with internal protocols, with WFH practices still being exercised to the extent feasible. As for our branches across our presence countries, they reviewed their functioning in the wake of the virus spread. In Mauritius, we planned, at the outset and after consultation with the Bank of Mauritius, to cater for customer needs through 14 strategically-positioned branches out of 40 branches and we reviewed their operating hours to help mitigate the virus spread. With the end of the lockdown, all our branches are open as per normal working hours, with robust sanitary measures in place.
The well-being of our stakeholders being a topmost priority, we implemented strict sanitary and hygiene protocols to uphold sound physical environments in our working premises. We put in place a controlled entry system and used calibrated non-contact thermometers for body temperature screenings for all visitors and employees admitted in our premises. We set up social distancing markings at entrances and service counters for better queue management and to mitigate contagion risks. We installed protective glass screens separating customers from tellers to ensure maximum protection. We ensure that staff members as well as customers wear masks. Hydro-alcoholic solutions are dispensed to customers upon entry in our premises. We conduct regular cleansing and disinfection of our premises and equipment, notably across frontline spaces and common areas. We adhere to best practice sanitary and health measures and protocols, with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and local authorities strictly followed, backed by necessary supportive mechanisms.
We are conscious that our valued clients have been facing extraordinary and uncertain times. Against this backdrop, the Group entities have deployed timely efforts and measures to stand by and accompany their individual and corporate customers, while offering appropriate work-around solutions for service delivery and attending to requests for dedicated facilities, notably with regard to servicing of debt obligations and provision of working capital facilities, loan restructuring and credit relief. We closely collaborated with the authorities in our presence countries to help in implementing a number of support measures, to assist all our customers and help them recover.

Bearing in mind the mode of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, we intensified communication and awareness campaigns on social media to encourage our customers and the general public to opt for digital and contactless channels, while sensitising them on phishing and scamming attempts. In Mauritius, our mobile banking platform ‘JuiceByMCB’ and Internet Banking solutions offer a secure and convenient round-the-clock alternative to our customers for their everyday banking needs from their home. To further promote its digital channels, the organisation deployed additional POS machines and increased its repertoire of ‘Juice’ merchants, alongside assisting stand-alone e-commerce merchants and online market place operators in their endeavours. We have also promoted the use of our recently-developed payment solution ‘Scan to pay’ (QR code), which is available on ‘JuiceByMCB’, to effect transactions. We have increased the limit for contactless payments from Rs 500 to Rs 2,500 since the beginning of the imposed lockdown period, with the number of related transactions more than doubling during the period spanning January to June 2020.

Read more on Fostering our stakeholder engagement
Alongside supporting its stakeholders, the Group strengthened its risk management set-up to tackle and mitigate pressures exerted on business activities by the pandemic. It took prompt and proactive steps with the aim to preserve the stability and soundness of its exposures across market segments. In Mauritius, MCB Ltd set up a cross-functional and dedicated Portfolio Assessment Team aimed at evaluating the economic and financial situation of systemic client Groups and SMEs. This enabled the Bank to carry out a vulnerability assessment of its exposures across the most affected economic sectors, thus helping to (i) undertake an informed appraisal of credit needs for relevant remedial actions; and (ii) uphold a generally healthy market positioning across segments. Moreover, the Group implemented adapted measures to ensure an adequate liquidity position and preserve sufficient funding resources in local and foreign currencies.

In FY 2019/20, whereas our business activities and results have been impacted by the challenging circumstances engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group upheld healthy financial indicators, thanks to its robust fundamentals and its ability to adapt to the constantly and rapidly changing operating landscape.

Read more in the Risk and Capital Management Report Read more on Our performance across entities

Financial Highlights

Net profit

Rs 7,912 m
-16.1%

  • Jun 20 7,912
     
  • Jun 19 9,434
     
  • Jun 18 7,221
     

Rs m

Total assets

Rs 532 bn
+12.9%

  • Jun 20532
     
  • Jun 19471
     
  • Jun 18386
     

Rs bn

Earnings per share

Rs 33.10
-16.2%

  • Jun 20 33.10
     
  • Jun 19 39.50
     
  • Jun 18 30.26
     

Rs

Net Asset Value per share

Rs 261.42
+10.5%

  • Jun 20261.42
     
  • Jun 19236.54
     
  • Jun 18214.96
     

Rs

Customer loans

Rs 252 bn
+7.5%

  • Jun 20 252
     
  • Jun 19 235
     
  • Jun 18 206
     

Rs bn

Customer deposits

Rs 386 bn
+17.9%

  • Jun 20386
     
  • Jun 19328
     
  • Jun 18295
     

Rs bn

Capital adequacy ratio

18.6%
+124 bp

  • Jun 20 18.6
     
  • Jun 19 17.3
     
  • Jun 18 17.1
     

%

Return on equity

13.3%
-4.2 pp

  • Jun 2013.3
     
  • Jun 1917.5
     
  • Jun 1814.8
     

%

Cost to income ratio

35.5%
-1.6 pp

  • Jun 20 35.5
     
  • Jun 19 37.1
     
  • Jun 18 40.1
     

%

Gross NPL ratio

4.2%
+0.1 pp

  • Jun 204.2
     
  • Jun 194.1
     
  • Jun 184.5
     

%

Reflections from the Chairman

“Despite the challenging business environment, our operating results continued to progress...”

Didier HAREL

Chairperson

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Message from the Chief Executive

“We have preserved our financial soundness in these turbulent times.”

Pierre Guy NOEL

Chief Executive

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Our Market Operations

To further their business growth, Group entities capitalise on their competent workforce, cutting-edge technology and wide-ranging platforms and channels. These include branches, ATMs as well as payment, mobile and Internet Banking platforms. Our entities leverage organisation-wide synergies and collaboration as well as alliances and partnerships with external parties. MCB Ltd also taps into a network of correspondent banks worldwide, including around 175 in Africa. In addition, it capitalises on its Representative Offices located in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Paris and Dubai.

  • Banking subsidiaries of the Group
  • Representative Offices of the Bank
  • Group associate (Banque Française Commerciale Océan Indien)
  • Group associate (Société Générale Moçambique)

How We Distributed Value Created

During the last financial year, the Group continued to provide relevant and meaningful ways to promote the interests of its stakeholders and help them prosper, supported by its resilient financial results.

Wealth created by MCB Group

FY 2019/20

Rs 15.2 bn

Employees

28.7%

Our value proposition comprises competitive rewards and benefits, with particular emphasis laid on the personal and career development of our staff

Authorities*

10.4%

Via our direct and indirect tax payments, we support the authorities in forestering the execution of socio-economic development projects.

Providers of capital

12.5%

We provide shareholders with adequate dividend payout.

Society

0.8%

We contribute to the welfare of the society in which we live and work via funds assigned for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and sponsorships.

Retention to support growth

47.6%

Wealth is allocated to support the Group’s future growth and sustainability via our retained earnings.

* Includes the proportion of our CSR contribution remitted to the Mauritius Revenue Authority

Our Main Strategic Objectives

Strengthen our domestic position

Expand our non-bank activities

Grow our international footprint

Embedding sustainability as a key value driver

General thrusts

  • • Maximise long-term value creation for our multiple stakeholders
  • • Preserve the image, reputation and franchise of the Group

Short-term imperatives to cope with COVID-19 pandemic

  • • Do everything we can to preserve the health and safety of our employees and clients
  • • Increase proximity with customers facing unprecedented hardtimes and deliver customised solutions and advice
  • • Foster business continuity and the soundness ofouroperations
  • • Maintain close collaboration with Central Banks and the Governments to implement support measures

Medium to longer-term priorities

  • • Help promote socio-economic development across geographies in which we are present, while reinforcing risk oversight
  • • Increase our share of foreign-source income,while positioning the Group as a competitive regional financial player
  • • Actively and thoughtfully pursue our Africa Strategy, alongside exploring business avenues beyond
  • • Enrich theappeal of our value proposition, backed by an innovative mindset and convenient digital channels
  • • Capitalise on synergies and partnerships within the organisation and with external parties

Our promise to creating a differentiating customer experience

To enrich customer experience at all touchpoints

To be coherent and simple in our approach

To stay innovative in our offerings

To empower customers in realising their aspirations

To simplify and streamline our operations

Our Governance Philosophy

The Board of MCB Group Ltd is committed to high standards of corporate governance with a view to upholding the organisation’s long-term business sustainability and creating value for its stakeholders whilst acting in a way that is good for the society at large. The Board fosters principles of integrity, accountability and transparency throughout the organisation by way of group-wide awareness of its operating beliefs and values. It constantly reviews and adapts its practices and frameworks in line with the dynamic environment, influenced by, inter alia, cultural shifts in the workplace, digital trends, climate change risks, information security requirements, in order to ensure that the Group acts in the best interests of its stakeholders. The Group’s sound governance standards and practices are anchored on key pillars as highlighted below.

Strong commitment to ethics and values

  • Dedicated Board Committee overseeing ethical conduct across the Group
  • Application of the Group’s ‘Code of Ethics’, approved and monitored by the Board
  • Whistleblowing Policy allowing employees to report matters of concern in strict confidentiality

Strict compliance to rules and regulations

  • Adherence by Group entities to the provisions of legislations, rules and regulations in countries where they operate
  • Compliance by relevant domestic entities with the National Code of Corporate Governance for Mauritius (2016)
  • Compliance with international reporting requirements as applicable
  • Adoption of the underlying Basel principles by banking subsidiaries

Robust risk governance and internal control

  • Ring-fencing of activities, as gauged by the segregation of banking and non-banking operations
  • Board responsible for oversight and monitoring of risk profile against risk appetite through adapted frameworks
  • Provision of independent assurance by both internal and external auditors

Continuous multi-stakeholder engagement

  • Ongoing dialogue with the investment community and authorities
  • Contribution to economic development by helping customers achieve their goals
  • Safeguard of cultural and environmental heritage
  • Promotion of community well-being and fostering of staff development and welfare

Our Approach to Risk and Capital Management

Key principles

We consider that, in addition to being a threat, risk can turn out to be a real competitive differentiator if it is managed in a thoughtful way. In line with our business aspirations, we manage risk in an open, transparent and disciplined way, after making due allowance for the exigencies of our stakeholders. Our risk management approach and policies are regularly reviewed and updated to account for changes in the Group’s business strategies and the external landscape, notably with regard to legal and regulatory stipulations as well as developments taking place within the economic environment.

The operating context
Our strategic orientations
Efficient risk management
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Fostering the Group’s financial strength and soundness
Operating in a secure and compliant manner