Access Bank Ghana PLC has pledged to significantly reduce its non-performing loans (NPLs) as it recorded strong performance on key indicators of the bank’s operations last year.
This was revealed during the Bank’s 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at its headquarters and broadcast virtually to shareholders.
The bank also announced a dividend of 79 pesewas per share for the 2021 financial year. Chief executive Olumide Olatunji explained that one of the bank’s main priorities this year is to improve its key financial indicators.
“We achieved significant growth, recording a profit before tax (PBT) of 41%, higher than the expected industry growth rate of 27%. Our total assets also grew by 28.6% in 2021, rising from 5,823,778,000 GHS in 2020 to 7,491,295,000 GHS, also higher than the expected industry growth rate of 17%.
“Our combined scale, digital capabilities and ecosystem enabled us to achieve this significant feat. This reflects the hard work and effort we put into our work, supported by a team of dedicated professionals and strong risk management structures,” he noted.
He was optimistic about the outlook for the banking sector and the opportunities for Access Bank.
“Adapting to the emerging financial terrain requires a deliberate focus on executing our strategy to live our brand promise. We will continue to pursue our agenda of digital transformation and retail dominance to deliver superior value to our customers. noted Olumide.
The shareholders approved all the resolutions on the agenda which included, among others, the ratification of the appointment of two executive directors of the Bank: James Bruce and Pearl Nkrumah and to receive and consider the audited financial statements of the Bank for the year ended 31st December 2021 as well as the reports of the directors and the statutory auditors.
In the end, shareholders adopted the 2021 audited financial statements as presented by Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants for the period.
Since 2009, Access Bank has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable business practices that promote profitable and sustainable growth that is environmentally friendly and socially relevant. These have contributed to the Bank being recognized in various awards in 2021, including Most Innovative Retail Banking Awards by Global Brands, Best Bank in Customer Service by Global Business Magazine Award and Best bank in terms of customer satisfaction by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG).
In his address, Mr. Frank Beecham, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Access Bank, noted that the sound financial measures adopted in all operational areas of the Bank have led to the results achieved and commended all stakeholders for their effort in this feat.
“I am proud to report that, despite the effects of COVID -19 on global economies, your Bank has become stronger and more resilient, applying lessons learned and industry best practices.” Mr. Beecham explained that the Bank has experienced significant growth in its total operating profit as well as its total assets. “Total operating profit and profit after tax showed significant growth; While total operating income grew from GH¢567,042,000 in 2020 to GH¢727,607,000 in 2021, net income grew from GH¢240,792,000 to GH¢321,574,000, registering a growth of 28 .3% and 33.5%, respectively.
“Your bank continues to perform well with a pre-tax return on investment (ROE) and return on assets (ROA) of 37% and 8% respectively, placing it among the best banks in Ghana.”
Mr Beecham also announced the payment of dividends for the first time since its IPO in 2016. the board of directors is pleased to propose a dividend of GH¢0.7927 per share,” said Mr. Beecham.
He noted that the Bank will continue to consolidate the giant gains made, will continue to focus on empowering staff with the relevant skills to help them work effectively and assured members of the Board’s commitment to take decisions wise finances.
Mr Beecham announced his retirement after leading the access board since 2014 and the retirement of two other board directors. “This year 2022, three non-executive directors, including the chairman of the board, will end their mandate with the Bank. I will be leaving the Board of Directors at the end of June this year. He expressed his gratitude to the esteemed members of the Bank, for maintaining confidence in the Bank and in the Board.