Shareholders of Access Bank (Ghana) Plc have commended the efforts of the board of directors, management and staff on its performance for the 2022 financial year. The commendation was given at the 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank held in Accra, where various shareholders were present.
Speaking at the meeting, shareholders noted that the bank’s performance signalled strong signs of sustained growth and resilience, in spite of it being overshadowed by credit impairments relating to Ghana’s sovereign-debt issues.
During the period, Access Bank Ghana recorded over 35 percent growth in its balance sheet size from GH¢7.455billion to GH¢10.835billion. Operating Revenue went up by 38 percent from GH¢832million to GH¢1.150billion while Loans and Advances witnessed a 41 percent growth from GH¢1.167billion to GH¢1.645billion, and Total Deposit by 60 percent from GH¢4.623billion to GH¢7.399billion.
In her maiden address to members at the meeting, the newly appointed Board Chairperson of Access Bank (Ghana) Plc, Ms. Ama S. Bawuah, revealed that although macro-economic challenges affected the bank’s profits, Access Bank finished the year on a sound footing and with a momentum to change the narrative for 2023 and beyond, having – among other things – maintained a healthy capital adequacy ratio of 34 percent, which is far above the 10 percent regulatory threshold.
“The year 2022 was an exceptional year due to the largely unforeseen external shocks that resulted in painful outcomes and decisions not just for our bank, but several players in the financial services industry. We are, however, optimistic about our future successes given the strong fundamentals we have built overtime, together with our unrelenting commitment to global best practice in applying sound corporate governance and risk management practices,” she added.
Access Bank’s audited financial statements for 2022 revealed that the bank’s profits had been eroded, leading to a loss position of GH¢440.6million.
“In compliance with the Bank of Ghana directive to suspend the declaration and payment of dividends and other distributions to shareholders, your bank will therefore not be in a position to recommend any dividend pay-out,” Ms. Ama Bawuah concluded.
Addressing members during the meeting, Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, Olumide Olatunji, explained that Access Bank was still committed to becoming a catalyst for socio-economic development in the country. He noted that despite the external challenges, Access Bank continued to support the real sectors of the economy to drive growth, create employment and generate the needed vibrancy to support the rebound of the economy.
Responding to questions on the floor, Mr. Olatunji said: “We did not stop investing in our business, especially in the area of technology, so we carried out a major upgrade on our core banking application to improve the services and value we give to our teeming customers. We also adapted well during the year by diversifying our business models to meet our customer needs and strategic partnerships while maintaining a disciplined approach to our expansion drive,” he noted.
Shareholders approved all resolutions on the agenda, which included the ratification of the appointment of Ms. Ama S. Bawuah as Board Chairperson, four new directors to the board, and adoption of the 2022 audited financials presented by Ernst & Young – Chartered Accountants for the period.
The four new directors who were approved include one Non-Executive Director in the person of Oluseyi Kumapayi, and three Independent Non-Executive Directors in the persons of John Bayuo Warisa, Jacob Kwame Kholi and Prof. Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia.
Access Bank Ghana has, over the years, demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable business practices, assuring shareholders and customers of their unflinching commitment for the long haul. The bank remains an important stakeholder in the financial ecosystem in Ghana and across Africa. The bank is in the business of impacting lives positively, providing services through over 700 branches and service outlets, in 3 continents, across 18 countries – including the UAE, UK, France and 3 representative offices in China, India and Lebanon.