‘StanChart optimistic about growth and profitability’

•  Mr.  Bedu-Addo

• Mr. Bedu-Addo

The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, Kweku Bedu Addo, has expressed optimism about the profitability and the growth of the bank this year.

According to him, in spite of the poor performance posted by the bank last year, the liquidity of the bank was strong to meet the financial needs of the market.

Speaking to the media after the bank held its Facts behind the Figures programme via a tele conference with its investors both in Ghana and abroad in Accra yesterday he said the bank’s capital adequacy ratio was above the threshold set by the Bank of Ghana.

“Standard Chartered Bank Ghana liquidity is 15 per cent above the regulatory threshold,” he stated.

The bank’s underlying operating income of GH; 531m last year was up 2 per cent over previous year however, operating profit declined by 67 per cent to GH¢91m.

The  Chief Executive Officer expressed disappointment about the financial  results  posted last year, but  explained that the poor  performance of the bank had to be accessed within the  context of the general macroeconomic difficulties encountered last year, which threw the financial projections  of some corporate bodies out of gear.

“Our performance last year is below what we projected, but we look forward for better results in 2016,” he said.

The bank’s  operating income of GH; 531 million grew by two per cent, while operating profit declined by 67 per cent to GH¢91 million.

Mr. Bedu-Addo attributed the poor performance of the bank, among other things, to the energy crisis, the depreciation of the cedi and the fiscal consolidation being pursued by the government.

“During 2015, we had to make very exceptional and unprecedented loan impairment provision of  GH¢213 million, up by 333 per cent from 2014 largely on account of the effects of a massive disruption to working capital cycles across almost all sections in the Ghanaian economy,” he stated.

Mr. Bedu-Addo said the bank would continue to pursue prudent investments and develop innovative products to meet the needs of the market.

“The focus for 2016 is to continue to invest in technology, improve the customer experience and to introduce innovative products on the market.  We will deliver our medium term strategy through disciplined execution and efficient cost management,” he stressed.

The head, International Corporates and Financial Institutions Corporate and Institutional Banking, Xorse Godzi said the impairment provisions made did not mean the bank had written off those debts.

He said the bank had initiated effective strategies to recover all the debts owed to the bank.

By Kingsley Asare

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