Ecobank Ghana has put in place measures to reduce the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the quality of its loan book and the resultant effect on its Non-Performing Loans, Managing Director of the bank, Mr Daniel Sackey has said.
In this direction, he said the bank had granted a six-month moratorium on loans to customers in all the vulnerable sectors, effective April 2020 to September 2020.
Speaking during a media interaction after the bank held its virtual annual general meeting in Accra, Mr Sackey said the bank was currently engaged in bilateral talks with the affected customers to assess individual borrowers’ capacity to repay after the moratorium period.
“We do acknowledge that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is diverse and not uniform therefore our approach will be multi-faceted. Going forward we will continue to support our clients, as they resuscitate their businesses and engage them directly to determine those who may require further payment holidays or restructuring so we can support them appropriately,” he said.
The bank during the period under review earned a record total revenue of GH¢1.58 billion and profit before tax of GH¢642.4 million, marking a growth of 21 per cent and 27 per cent respectively over the prior year’s figures.
Operating expenses growth were well controlled within inflationary levels with a resultant reduction in cost-to-income ratio from 51.5 per cent in 2018 to 45.8 per cent in 2019.
Mr Sackey said “This remarkable performance is 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. Ecobank also posted strong performance on all key balance sheet items, providing its shareholders with a return on equity of 25 per cent.”
The bank he said continued to be well capitalised with a total equity of GH¢1.78 billion, one of the highest in the industry and a capital adequacy ratio of 18.58 per cent, well above the regulatory requirement of 13 per cent.
Mr Sackey said given the bank’s stellar performance, the board proposed a dividend payout of 30 pesewas per share, which was unanimously approved by shareholders.
Addressing shareholders at the meeting, Mr Terence Darko, Board Chairman of Ecobank said the last two years have been marked by significant changes in the Ghanaian banking sector, largely underscored by the Central Bank’s clean-up activities across the industry.
This he said had reduced the number of banks in Ghana from 34 to 23, and led to a stronger and more efficient banking system.
Touching on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Mr Darko indicated that Ecobank was committed to building strong communities.
BY DAVID ADADEVOH