Access Bank shows positive growth in half year results
Access Bank Ghana Plc is poised to show an improved financial performance by end of 2017, in view of its half-year performance released this week.
The Bank recorded a profit before tax of GH¢40.262 million. While this is 29 per cent lower than the GH¢56.488 million recorded at half year in 2016, the bank says it expects to perform better at the end of the 2017 financial year as it will not be making any provisions for impairment, as it did in 2016.
The Bank's total customer deposits increased by 4% from GHC 2,009 million in 2016 to GHS 2,090 million in 2017 during the same period whiles its savings deposits increased by 79% compared to December 2016, further demonstrating the Bank's strategy to lead in the retail segment of the market.
Presenting the bank's half-year results at its first Facts Behind the Figures session, organised by the Ghana Stock Exchange, the Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, Mr Dolapo Ogundimu, noted that while there had been many challenges during the period, the Bank had improved other sources of revenue significantly, thus the decent performance.
Mr. Ogundimu highlighted that the Bank's strategy to improve its performance will be underpinned by aggressive remedial activities to improve its asset quality, effective cost reduction measures and the expansion of its digital footprint.
He acknowledged efforts by Government to settle the energy sector debts, saying part of the exposures had been settled, with the remaining expected to be settled by end of 2017 with the money raised from the bond that will be issued.
"Resolving the banks exposure to the energy sector would create more liquidity in the banking sector for investment in development, boost confidence and improve access to credit for the private sector, among other benefits," he said.
Mr. Ogundimu however noted that these discussions would prioritise engagements to reduce its NPL ratio to the barest minimum, from the current 20% at half-year 2017.
"While waiting for the final resolution of these debts, we shall remain cautious with our lending practices to ensure we deliver a decent return to our shareholders," he said
Government had earlier announced plans to issue a 15-year bond to settle the outstanding US$2.4 billion energy sector debts.
Speaking on the side-lines of the event, the Bank's Head of Financial Control & Strategy, Mr Calleb Osei also noted that though the Bank's Capital Adequacy ratio reduced marginally from 11.3 per cent in June 2016 to 10.8 per cent in June 2017, it was expecting some earlier commitments from investors to be realised before close of the year which will improve its ratio to more than 15 percent.
More technology, less brick and mortar
Mr. Ogundimu said going forward, the bank will reduce the rate of creating branches to focus more on digital banking as it seeks to make banking services available to everyone.
â€œWe are making banking available to everybody. We want to make it possible for everyone to use their mobile phones to access banking services.
We are going to reduce the brick and mortar aspect and replace it with digital banking. We cannot for strategic reason stop opening branches, we need to be visible and have resource centres. So, branches we will continue to create but not at the rate at which we have been establishing them historically.
So, the brick and mortar part of our footprint will be reduced overtime while digital banking takes over the space,â€ he said.