First Atlantic Bank in the first quarter of this year recorded an impressive performance in growth and profitability.
The bank’s profit before tax for the first quarter of 2019 stood at GHȻ10.2 million, which is a 76 per cent increase of the pre-tax profit recorded for the corresponding period of 2018 and total assets increased to GHȻ2.1 billion, which is 31 per cent more than the balance sheet size as the end of 2018.
The first quarter results of the First Atlantic Bank copied to the Ghanaian Times attributed the strong performance to exceptional product offering, quality banking services offered to customers and an increase in operating income.
The results said the increase in asset was largely funded by a 19 per cent increase in deposits over the 12 months period to end of March, 2019, to GHȻ1.6 billion.
Operating income of the bank in the period under review rose to GHȻ58.9 million from GHȻ42.9 million, while net interest income grew by 56 per cent to GHȻ33 million due to the low cost of funding, which in turn result from prudent financial management and rising confidence by increasingly discerning banking public.
The bank said as at the end of first quarter 2019, its outstanding loans and advances with its customers to the tune of GHȻ546 million, which is a 58 per cent of the size of the loan book the previous year.
“…the sheer quality of First Atlantic Bank product and service delivery is illuminated by the 20 per cent increase in the bank’s income from commissions and fees which rose to GHȻ26 million for the first quarter of 2019, up from GHȻ21.7 million over the corresponding period of 2018,” the results said.
The bank said bigger business volumes were translating into bigger profitability, which had seen an expansion and strengthening of the bank’s product and service distribution channels.
Following its merger with Energy Commercial Bank at the turn of the year, First Atlantic Bank said current stated capital stands at GHȻ409 million above the Bank of Ghana minimum capital requirement of GHȻ400 million, adding that the bank “is far more financially solid than it has ever been before and indeed its financial muscle matches the biggest available to institutions and households in Ghana”.
The bank said its target was to become one of the top five banks in Ghana’s fiercely competitive commercial banking arena, but that many industry pundits believed this could only be achieved over the long term.
“First Atlantic Bank now has 41branches spread across six regions nationwide. Even more importantly, the bank has heavily enhanced its digital banking platform and it now offers seamless and completely secure internet banking including mobile foreign currency transactions,” the report said.
The bank currently runs 65 ATMs and is the forefront of facilitation of e-commerce too, having deployed 260 point-of-sales devices so far.
By Kingsley Asare