KARACHI - For the year ended December 31, 2009, NIB Bank earned a consolidated profit after tax of Rs 1.5 billion and a standalone profit after tax of Rs 691 million, NIB Bank said on Tuesday. The seventh annual general meeting of NIB held on 30th March 2010 at Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) to review the financial accounts and performance of the bank for the year 2009. According to the results, the NIB Bank net mark-up income in 2009 increased by 23 per cent over 2008 to Rs 5.4 billion as a result of better quality loan growth and improvement in spreads. NIB added Rs 10 billion in current and savings accounts, which now form 59 per cent of its deposit base, up from 44 per cent in 2008. During the year, NIB shed Rs 28 billion of higher cost deposits, which allowed the bank to bring down its cost of funds by 2.66 per cent over the year. As a cornerstone of its strategy, the Bank will continue to focus on generating low cost deposits and amongst other service oriented initiatives, will soon launch innovative deposit generating products in 2010. NIB added 120,000 loan and deposit customers while new loans worth nearly Rs 21 billion were disbursed during 2009. As a result, loans in the Banks core business segments grew by 24 per cent over 2008. The Bank focused on prudent customer selection, and rehabilitation of genuinely distressed customers in 2009, while aggressively pursuing recovery and litigation of defaulting customers. Consequently, net provisions reduced by more than 90pc from 2008 levels. The Bank also achieved substantial capital gains in both the debt and equity markets through leveraging market opportunities. During the year, NIB achieved a significant milestone by connecting all of its branches to its new core banking system. With this conversion, NIB is now the second largest banking network globally on the Temenos T24 banking application. NIB also continued to upgrade its infrastructure and make technology investments. Despite these investments, the Bank was able to reduce its operating expenses by over 20 per cent over 2008, achieved through a strong focus on improving operating efficiency. During 2010 NIB will remain focused on growing its presence in its Salaam, SME, Commercial and Corporate business segments while building on its successes in attracting lower cost deposits through transaction accounts.