Ecobank Ghana on August 7, 2020, held its 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM), in virtual form, declaring sterling financial results and maintaining its position as Ghana’s biggest bank.
On performance, the bank earned a record total revenue of GHS1.58 billion and profit before tax of GHS642.4 million, marking a growth of 21% and 27% respectively over the prior year figures. Operating expenses growth were well controlled within inflationary levels with a resultant reduction in cost-to-income ratio from 51.5% in 2018 to 45.8% in 2019.
This 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%. The Bank continues to be well capitalised with a total equity of GHS1.78 billion, one of the highest in the industry and a capital adequacy ratio of 18.58%, well above the regulatory requirement of 13%.
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. Given the bank’s stellar performance, the Board proposed a dividend payout of 30 pesewas per share, which was unanimously approved by shareholders.
Major awards won by the Bank during the year were; the prestigious CIMG 2019 Hall of Fame Best Bank conferred on the Bank after winning the Best Bank in Ghana for three consecutive years, Mobex Innovation Awards – Fintech Innovation of the Year, World’s Best Digital Bank Award 2019 – Ecobank Corporate Banking, Global Banking & Finance Award 2019 – Best Digital Bank Ghana 2019, Sustainability and Social Investment Award for Best Company in Educational Sponsorship Projects, and Marketing World Awards – Retail Bank of the Year, amongst others.
Managing Director of the Bank, Mr. Daniel Sackey said; “In 2019, we leveraged our scale and technology to make it easier for our clients to bank seamlessly with us, using their preferred digital channels. We also utilized our growing partnership propositions with key actors in the retail sector to launch our first consumer digital lending scheme called Express Loans. This enabled our customers to borrow from the Bank using their mobile phones. In the seven months of the product launch, we have advanced loans to over 1 million customers.”
Mr Sackey also stated that during the year under review, Ecobank carried out several upgrades on its digital platforms in response to customer feedback. This includes the enhancement of the Bank’s award-winning Ecobank Mobile. The Bank 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.