Standard Chartered Remains Cautious In Growth Agenda — CEO

Kweku Bedu-AddoMr. Kweku Bedu Addo, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, says while the business is growing, there are inherent economic challenges to overcome.

He said while the bank had shown momentum in the face of economic challenges, it would remain cautious in its growth agenda until there were clear signals of turnaround in the current economic situation.

“The bank will remain cautious in growth agenda, despite the recent relative stability, until we turn the corner,” he said.

Mr. Bedu-Addo said the bank’s performance in the year had been mixed with double digit profits amidst increasing cost.

He said customers had been stretched by the harsh economic fundamentals since the beginning of the year, leading to an escalation in cost and high non-performing loan ratios.

Despite that, he said the bank had made strong delivery on key performance metrics such as return on equity, earnings per share and cost to income ratio.

“Besides, the balance sheet remains in excellent shape, strongly capitalised and well diversified,” he said.

Touching on the bank’s third quarter performance, Mr. Dayo Omolokun, Chief Financial Officer, said there was double digit growth in profits and income, despite the tough environment.

He said the harsh economic conditions from the start of the year led to erosion of business confidence, but there had been significant improvements in the last two months although the country was not out of the woods yet.

Mr. Omolokun said the lack of foreign exchange liquidity, coupled with depreciation of the cedi, led to a slowdown in operations while customers’ profits were affected because they were not able to generate sufficient cash flows.

He, however, said the bank’s underlying performance showed resilience.

Total operating income rose by 27 per cent to GH¢385 million, while cost increased by 39 per cent to GH¢129 million.

Deposit shot up to GH¢2,262 million, representing a 29 per cent jump, while advances also grew to GH¢1,415 million.

Mr. Omolokun said the underlying performance was very strong and that the bank would try to sustain the growth without compromising on risk management to enhance shareholder value.

By David Adadevoh

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