Photo from UNIAN The banking system of Ukraine in 2018 made a profit for the first time in five years, said Yakiv Smolii, head of the National Bank of Ukraine. Addressing the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday, Smolii said there were 77 banks operating in Ukraine in the reporting period. “The banking system is not only stable, transparent and capitalized, but also profitable for the first time in five years,” noted Smolii. Head of the NBU stressed that public confidence in the banking system of Ukraine was being strengthened, as evidenced by last year&#39;s growth of hryvnia deposits by 15%. Read alsoNBU head voices inflation forecast for 2019 In addition, banks are stepping up lending. Over the past year, they increased the volume of hryvnia loans issued to the population by 31%. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine’s solvent banks in January-October 2018 received UAH 14.827 billion in profits, which is seven times more than in the same period of the previous year at UAH 2.154 billion. Ukraine&#39;s banking system in 2017 saw a loss of UAH 24.4 billion due to significant amounts of allocations to reserves.