CABS emerged the top-performing bank at this year's edition of the Zimbabwe Independent Banks and Banking Survey ceremony, which was held in Harare last night.
CBZ was the first runner-up, followed by First Capital Bank.
This year's survey is themed Financial Inclusion: Banking the Unbanked.
The survey revealed that the banks under review performed reasonably well under the prevailing economic conditions as most indicators were positive.
Balance sheets were stronger, profits were up and there was a healthy relationship between expenditure and income.
An analysis of key ratios as well as the balance sheet size and profitability was used to determine the ranking.
Up to 27 categories were analysed and only hard data were used for this purpose to avoid undue subjectivity.
Steward Bank won the award for mobilising the most deposits during the period of review.
The bank's liabilities amounted to US$10,473 billion, with deposits making up 80,3% of the amount.
Deposits from customers have been growing steadily over the years when compared to those from other banks.
Customers' deposits peaked at US$8,4 billion in the half-year period while the ones from banks were only US$1,2 billion.
Deposits consist largely of demand funds at 64,47% while time deposits contribute 24,34%. Savings only constitute 4,76% as people would rather spend than save. It remains to be seen whether the saving culture will change with the advent of the FCAs as value is better preserved in hard currency.
CBZ, Stanbic and CABS collectively account for 46,12% of all deposits. The building societies anchor the bottom of the rankings in terms of deposit size with FBC Building Society at US$113,86 million, National Building Society US$67,72 million and lastly ZB Building Society with a modest US$22,29 million.
Lines of credit improved from US$241,7 million last year to US$278 million in the six months under review, a sign of growing confidence by foreign entities.
NMB was voted the people's choice in a poll conducted online.
Cumulatively, the banks hold US$1,5 billion in equity compared to US$1,3 billion last year.
More than 60% of the loans were issued for productive purposes with the agricultural sector accounting for 15,68% while the mortgage sector took up 14,68% followed by distribution at 12,89%.
CABS has the biggest loan book with an amount of US$904,69 million, followed by CBZ with US$639,49 million. Stanbic and FBC Bank follow in third and fourth place with US$384,5 million and US$307,58 million respectively. Smaller banks by deposit size anchor the bottom of the list with FBC Building Society at US$64,45 million and ZB Building Society with US$20,72 million.
Ecobank won the award for the most cost-efficient bank.
The CBZ loan book accounts for 23,72% of the total loans on the market, followed with 14,5%. Stanbic comes in third place with 9,13% the First Capital 5,83% coming second and BancABC 5,69% third.
CBZ has the largest holding of government securities at 31,12%, followed by StanChart at 9,48%. Entities with smaller deposits naturally account for less in terms of their investment in Treasury Bills. ZB Building Society does not invest in TBs, whilst the other building societies weigh in marginally: FBC Building Society (1,94%) and National Building Society (0,63%).
The proportion of loans to deposits dipped from 49,5% in the first half of the year in 2017 to 40,2%. This invariably means that either banks are reluctant to lend or customers do not want to borrow.
On the other hand, government securities have seen a surge in their claim on deposits, rising from 31,9% last year to 39,63% in the first half of the year. Overall, banks are lending on average about 77% of their deposits and, with some even including their equity in the lending matrix, the ratio settles around 66%.
Total income increased from US$391 million in the first half last year to close the year at US$920 million. In the six months to June, the banks have already registered US$547 million in total income and are likely to breach the US$1 billion mark in the full year.
Net profit has also seen a steady increase from 20,4% in the first half last year to 33,8% this year.
Almost all entities under review made a profit save for ZB Building Society, which incurred a nominal loss of US$234 337. The most profitable entities are FBC Building Society and Ecobank with margins of 59,2% and 52,8% respectively while CBZ and CABS follow at 43,8% and 43,7%.
The banks cumulatively operated within acceptable limits of income-to-expenditure ratios that ensured profitability and going concern of the firms. Non-interest income constituted 60,42% compared to 56,29% last year. The biggest component of non-interest income was fees and commissions. Staff costs account for less than half of the total expenses and less than 30% of total income.