Card Play

Nov 29, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Nations Trust Bank, which has the franchise for American Express, has said its credit card business is recovering after being hit by interest rate restrictions imposed by the banking regulator. Renuka Fernando, NTB’s deputy chief executive, said the bank has been able to increase credit card business volumes with aggressive promotions and increased customer spending.

“We’re well on track to recover the profitability of the cards business to original levels,” she said.

“We realised interest rate caps may be here to stay. The cards business has been reconfigured aggressively towards a spending model and spending increases have been brought about quarter by quarter.

NTB is “aggressively” acquiring more credit card customers and is building scale.

“New cards are significantly higher,” Fernando told a news conference. “It means the fee generation revenue line of cards has improved significantly quarter by quarter and will continue to do so as we build scale.”

NTB, whose promoters are John Keells Holdings and Central Finance, has seen profit after tax rise 38 percent to 1.2 billion rupees in the nine months to September 2011 from a year ago.

But net interest income had