BBK earned a net profit of BD27.1 million ($72m) in the first nine months of the year against BD31.3m for the same period last year. \"Comparing the performance for the current year, with the performance of last year, we are pleased with the achieved results, given the difficult operating market in the global financial markets in general and Bahrain in particular,\" said chairman Murad Ali Murad. \"Last year\'s net profit included some exceptional income,\" he said. \"This year witnessed major financial events led by the US facing difficulty paying back debt which resulted in the downgrading of the county for the first time, followed by downgrades of other developed countries, and difficulties faced by major financial and non-financial institutions in repaying their financial obligations, for which equity markets responded aggressively by a drastic fall for all major equity markets worldwide.\" For the period the bank reported net interest income of BD44m compared to BD42.8m last time which included a BD2.2m gain on redemption of sub-debt. Fees and commissions contributed significantly to total operating income increasing by 4.7 per cent to reach BD19.5m. Investment and foreign exchange income stood at BD9.1m compared to BD26.9m last time, though this included BD17.1m from non-recurring investment income from the sale of non-trading investments. Excluding the exceptional income during the same period of last year, BBK operating revenues would have increased 4.5pc. The net provisioning requirements during the year amounted to BD9.7m, compared to BD23.4m for the same period last year. The net profit for the three months ended September stood at BD4m compared to BD7.8m for the same period of last year, with net interest income of BD16.7m compared to BD13.3m as of September 2010, while other income stood at BD7.4m compared to BD10.4m for last year. Provision charges at BD7.7m were higher than last year\'s charges by BD3.2m. Chief executive Abdulkarim Bucheery said the bank has recently been awarded The Quality Recognition Award by JP Morgan for the year 2011. The award came in light of the bank\'s outstanding performance in achieving a very high straight through processing for funds transfers of 95.88pc, achieved by investing in the latest technology solutions available in the markets. He said this reflects that BBK\'s continuous investments in technological advancement and customer service are being well valued by bank\'s customers, which makes the bank management even more eager to continue offering best and latest financial solutions available in the market. He added that BBK has recently signed an agreement with the Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Limited (India) and JZ Associates (Kuwait) to form a new joint venture headquartered in Kuwait City, to meet the needs of the burgeoning NRI population in accessing Indian capital markets. The bank opened a new branch in Suq Waqif, and another one in Seef area, while its credit card subsidiary CrediMax has moved to a new head office located in Seef district to provide better quality service and outreach for the bank\'s customers. All these initiatives and others resulted in increasing the bank\'s operating expense by 7.5pc compared to the same period of last year. BBK\'s balance sheet stood at BD2.732 billion, a growth of 10.3pc compared to the same period last year, and 11.6pc compared to December 2010. Customer deposits at BD1.979bn, grew 10.5pc compared to September 2010, and 24.2pc compared to December 2010. The growth in customer deposits compared to last year was mainly driven by the growth in retail and corporate deposits.