Ecobank Ghana has earned a record total revenue of GHC1.58 billion and profit before tax of GHC642.4 million, marking a growth of 21 percent and 27 percent respectively over the prior-year figures.
The Bank’s operating expenses were well controlled within inflationary levels with a resultant reduction in cost-to-income ratio from 51.5per cent in 2018 to 45.8 percent in 2019.
A statement issued in Accra by Mrs Rita Nana Aba Tsegah, Regional Head, Corporate Communications and Marketing said the remarkable performance was reflective of the Bank’s consistent strategy of building a diversified business model with a focus on growing revenue and managing costs and risks, even in the face of a highly competitive environment.
This year’s Annual General Meeting, (AGM) which was held virtually, highlighted strong growth in revenues and profits, strengthening the Bank’s balance sheet as well as a dividend pay-out.
It said the Bank also posted strong performance on all key balance sheet items, providing its shareholders with a return on equity of 25 percent. “The Bank continues to be well capitalised with a total equity of GHC1.78 billion, one of the highest in the industry and a capital adequacy ratio of 18.58per cent, well above the regulatory requirement of 13 percent,” it said.
The statement said Ecobank Ghana‘s credit rating has been affirmed by the Global Credit Rating Company at AA-(GH) and A1+(GH) in the long term and short term respectively with a stable outlook.
The current ratings reflect the Bank’s established domestic franchise value, resilient financial performance, risk-appropriate capitalisation, and adequate loan loss reserve.
It said given the Bank’s stellar performance, the Board proposed a dividend payout of 30 pesewas per share, which was unanimously approved by shareholders.
Mr Terence Darko, the Board Chairman of Ecobank speaking at the AGM said the last two years had been marked by significant changes in the Ghanaian banking sector, largely underscored by the Central Bank’s clean-up activities across the industry.
He said that had reduced the number of banks in Ghana from 34 to 23, and led to a stronger and more efficient banking system.
On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Mr. Darko said the Bank was committed to building strong communities, indicating that the activities of the Bank’s flagship CSR programme, “Ecobank Day” provided the opportunity for the Bank to target one major CSR issue at a time.
He said in 2019, Ecobank focused on creating awareness on the causes, prevention, and management of Non-Communicable Diseases with special emphasis on breast cancer.
The Board Chairman also announced changes to the Board with Mrs. Patience Akyianu, who was appointed to the Board in the year under review, had her appointment ratified at the AGM while Mr. Martin Eson-Benjamin and Mrs Rosemary Yeboah both retired from the Board.
He thanked the retiring board members for their invaluable contributions to the growth of Ecobank and wished them well in their future endeavours.
Mr Daniel Sackey, the Managing Director of the Bank said; “In 2019, we demonstrated our ability to navigate the difficulties associated with an increasingly complex environment, after a challenging period in the banking sector.”
“We drove growth by deepening relationships with our existing customers, whilst attracting new ones,” he added.
Mr Sackey said the Bank also leveraged its scale and technology to make it easier for clients to bank seamlessly, using preferred digital channels, utilizing the growing partnership propositions with key actors in the retail sector to launch the first consumer digital lending scheme called, “Express Loans”.
He said Ecobank Ghana carried out several upgrades on its digital platforms in response to customer feedback, including the enhancement of the Bank’s award-winning Ecobank Mobile, which in addition to an improved, “look and feel”, now offered greater security and more features.
Ecobank Ghana also upgraded its core banking application through the enhanced Omniplus and Omnilite product solutions, thereby providing a versatile and robust suite of digital solutions for business customers.