Ecobank Ghana will continue to leverage on its digital platform to support government's agenda to deepen financial inclusion and promote a cash-lite society as well as to enhance customers' satisfaction.
Mr Daniel Sackey, Managing Director, said through its bank-wide digitization agenda over the last two years, the bank had been able to improve accessibility and convenience to esteemed customers.
Currently, he said, over 78 per cent of banking transactions have been conducted via the digital technology platforms deployed by the bank.
"Our range of products and services meet the day-to-day banking, financing, investment and transactional needs of our customers. We remain focused on delivering on our commitment to be the leading consumer financial services franchise in Ghana," Mr Sackey told shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of the Bank.
Overall, Ecobank Ghana delivered very strong profit before tax growth of 41 percent year- on-year to GH¢506 million as at December 2018.
The increased profitability performance was anchored on strong revenue growth, lower impairment charges coupled with successful execution of cost containment strategies.
Revenues went up 17 per cent to GH¢1.3 billion with excellent contribution from all the bank's business units.
Customer Deposits grew by 20 per cent to end the year at GH¢1.82 billion, compared to GH¢1.52 billion in 2017. The increase was largely driven by growth in savings and current deposits anchored on agency banking and digital deposit mobilization drive.
Customer loans at the end of the year was GH¢384 million representing a 40 per cent growth year on year.
Mr Terence Darko, the Board Chairman, said although the banking industry was yet to fully recover from the aftershocks of the withdrawal of licenses, mergers, consolidation and the voluntary exit of about 11 banks, Ecobank Ghana has weathered the storm due to its robust risk and capital management structures.
"We are confident, however, that the sector is on a positive path and will ultimately be stronger and better placed to provide the needed services to all customers," he said.
Mr Darko said the bank had made significant progress on the troubled energy sector loan book with the part payment of the outstanding receivables from government.
"We are confident of a full resolution in 2019, following the completion of a government commissioned verification process for the outstanding amount attributable to government. In 2019, we expect to be able to term out the residual BDC exposure through series of bilateral negotiations with the companies involved," he said.
In line with the above, our impairment charges for 2018 reduced by 26% from GH¢174 million to GH¢129 million, largely driven by the above mentioned part payment and the lower provisioning on a healthier loan book compared to the previous year, he said.
Mr Darko said to put the bank on a strong path through continued investment; the bank was unable to pay cash dividend in 2018.
"We are positive that we will return to dividend payment in the near future," he said, adding that the bank's goal is to be a more digitized, client-driven and innovative organization.
"We expect to deliver greater shareholder value growth through increased revenue generation and cost management. I firmly believe that we are on the right path and that the changes that we have seen in the banking industry will lead to sustainable growth in the future for all our stakeholders," Mr Darko added.