Bank Hapoalim published a good report for the third quarter of 2020 with an 11% increase in net profit. The bank, managed by Dov Kotler, earned NIS 816 million in the third quarter, reflecting a return on equity of 8.8%.
The bank's results were aided, among other things, by Recovery (a debt that was set aside in the past, but was eventually collected) of a problematic debt set aside in the amount of NIS 288 million. In the bottom line, Poalim made a provision for credit losses of NIS 193 million. Although this is an increase compared to the provision of NIS 40 million in this section in the corresponding quarter, this is a significant decrease in the rate of provisions compared to the previous quarter, when the bank made a provision of about NIS 1 billion on average each quarter.
In the sum of the first nine months of 2020, Poalim made a provision of NIS 2.13 billion, compared with only NIS 400 million in the corresponding period. The high provision was of course due to the corona crisis, and the expectation of a wave of bankruptcies. The provisions for the high credit losses made in previous quarters affected the Bank's profits, and thus in the first nine months of 2020, Poalim recorded a profit of NIS 1.14 billion, a drop of 53% compared to the corresponding period. The profit reflects a return on equity of 4%.
Bank Hapoalim also provides a glimpse of the latest data regarding the freezing of loans to its customers. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Bank has made freezes on loans amounting to NIS 43.3 billion. At the same time, NIS 19.1 billion in loans are currently being frozen, meaning that 56% of the loans that have been frozen have been repaid. In the mortgage sector 64% of the mortgages that were frozen at the beginning of the crisis were repaid.
Bank Hapoalim's credit portfolio has remained virtually unchanged since the beginning of the year and stands at NIS 292.8 billion. There are different trends in the various areas: for example, while the mortgage portfolio has grown by 8% since the beginning of the year, consumer credit has shrunk by 10%.
The Bank's results also show a 7.3% decrease in commission income to NIS 766 million. The decline is due to the economic crisis, and the decline in economic activity. Most of the decrease in commission income was recorded in current account fees and commissions in the use of credit cards.