ACCESS Bank Ghana has recorded a massive jump in its profits in the year ending 2018 on the back of strong growth.

The bank’s profit before tax went up 23% to GH₵71.79 million in 2018 from GH₵58.60 million in 2017. Its profit after tax also saw a whopping 68% jump to GH₵49.85 million in 2018 from GH₵29.30 million.

In the year under review, Access Bank’s operating income increased by 303% to GH₵12 million from GH₵2.98 million in 2017 while its operating expense also increased marginally to GH₵182 million from GH₵171 million in 2017.

Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, Olumide Olatunji disclosed this when the bank appeared before the Ghana Stock Exchange’s (GSE) ‘Facts Behind the Figures’ meeting with Access Bank Ghana in Accra.

According to Mr Olatunji, Access Bank Ghana would maintain this strong growth into the long term by identifying and supporting sectors in the retail and wholesale space.

“On the retail space, we are going to demonstrate the fact that we support financial inclusion of the government and this administration so we will do a lot of things to grow the retail banking book of the bank.

Payday loan, for instance, if your salary is with us, you can get a loan in three minutes on the app. So we are doing a lot of that on the market to grow our retail banking products and loans in the market place,” Mr Olatunji said.

He indicated that Access Bank also sees opportunities in the wholesale sector, hence the bank’s collaboration with international partners, such as DEG (German Investment Corporation), to grow trade for German businesses that import into and export out of Ghana.

“I also see opportunities in the manufacturing sector will grow our loan book… We identified companies that export out of Ghana, so we will be doing a lot of export discounting,” Mr Olatunji added.

However, Access Bank’s loans and advances went down 7% to GH₵815,559 in 2018 from GH₵877,675 the previous year as a result of what the bank describes as “cautious loan growth strategy”.

Access Bank was listed on the GSE in December 2016 and has since recorded a moderate performance on the bourse.
The bank currently has 52 branches and agencies across the country, and intends to add five more branches this year.

In December 2018, Access Bank Plc., the parent company of Access Bank Ghana, acquired another Nigerian bank, Diamond Bank, making the Access Bank Group the largest bank in Africa in terms of customer base.

The bank currently has operations in six African countries. Ghana is the second biggest market for Access Bank Group after Nigeria, the bank’s home country.

The group would establish presence in three other African countries – Kenya, Cameroon, and Mozambique – before end-2019, the MD of the bank disclosed.

credit: The Finder

(By Raju J. R. PARWANI)