– reduction as income from interest fallsThe Guyana Bank for Trade and IndustryIts profits are reduced compared to the previous year’s, but business is still good for the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI).The Bank made $1.4 billion in profits for the 2018 fiscal year.This is according to GBTI’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018. According to the statements, this $1.4 billion in profits came after tax. It is still, however, less than what the Bank made in 2017.According to the Bank’s statements, it made $1.5 billion in 2017, thus making 2018’s figure a 4.93 per cent reduction. The Bank disclosed that its income from interest fell by 8.62 per cent, going from $5 billion in 2017 to $4.6 billion in 2018.In total, the Bank’s assets came up to $107.5 billion, with total liabilities of $91.3 billion. Its assets include case resources of $21.3 billion, loans and advances of $43.3 billion and $6.8 billion in property and equipment.“At December 31, 2018, the Bank and group investments amounted to $33.619 billion and $33.623 billion respectively. The group’s investments consist of structured financial instruments valued at amortised cost.“Property and equipment is stated at a netbook value of $6.8 billion and $6.886 billion for the company and group respectively. No revaluation of property and equipment was done during the year,” the Bank noted.Back in 2017, GBTI had had to contend with the multimillion-dollar fraud allegedly perpetrated against it by gold dealer Siddiqui Rasul, who allegedly defrauded the Bank of some $941 million.GBTI Chairman Robin Stoby had subsequently told shareholders that the Bank would recover the $941 million lost in a fraudulent transaction allegedly conducted by Rasul. Stoby had said that while, in the short term, the Bank would have to make provisions for the loss, affecting earnings for that year, the Board’s intention was to make an insurance claim for the money, in addition to conducting civil proceedings in an attempt to recover as much of the funds as possible.Rasul, owner of SSS Minerals Trading, was on April 3, 2017, charged with six counts of fraud, wherein it was alleged that between March 21 and March 22, 2017, at Bartica, with intent to defraud, he obtained from GBTI $96 million, $290 million, $89 million, $45 million, $298 million and $138 million by falsely pretending that he had cash in a Citizens Bank account to honour cheques that he had written.