UT Bank says it will set up five new branches and use “Agency Banking” to increase its footprints and improve its visibility.
The bank will also seek shareholders’ approval to raise GH¢100 million either through a rights issue or private placement to shore up capital and improve its capital adequacy ratio.
Speaking at the ‘Facts Behind the Figures’ programme of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, said the bank would remain focused on extending support to small and medium enterprises.
He said the bank’s performance reflected the real state of the economy and attributed the bank’s 50 per cent dip in profit in 2013 to the SME sector, which was the hardest hit of the economic condition in the country, causing the bank to be negatively impacted.
Besides, the Election Petition, the slump in prices of Ghana’s major export commodities, gold and cocoa, the sharp increase of utility prices and the consistent depreciation of the cedi against the dollar, all led to a slowdown of the economy.
Inflationary pressures due to high cost of borrowing also affected the bank’s performance in 2013.
Despite the difficulties, Mr Amoabeng said, the bank succeeded in strengthening its Tier 2 base, raising $10m from Amethis Finance to boost its Capital Adequacy Ratio.
UT Bank, also in 2013, rolled out its ‘Bank on Wheels’ product to mobilize deposits and recalibrate it as a ‘safe haven’ form ‘lender’. The bank had been faced with the challenge of deposit mobilization as it is still branded as the ‘lender’ originating from its background of a Non-Bank Financial Institution.
Mrs Pearl Esua-Mensah, Deputy Managing Director of UT Bank, also stated that, the Bank is committed to undertake strategic initiatives to drive customer deposit, reduce risk and increase profitability.
She said the bank would formally launch the Women’s Market, which is to position it as the ‘bank of choice’ for women and women advocates in Ghana.
The bank also intends to roll out products that would target and encourage low income earners to save.
Besides, the newly launched e-products and services (e-banking, debit cards, etc) is expected to increase profitability by attracting high networth Individuals.
Mrs Esua-Mensah said UT Bank had also affected a change management strategy; aimed at streamlining its business lines to focus on business Banking, Retail banking and Corporate Banking. This is to raise its revenue earning potential.
UT Bank in 2013, recorded a 19% increase in total income to GH¢124 million, mainly supported by growth in its loan book portfolio. Although interest expense was high, on account of depositors demanding higher yields, the continuous focus on growing non-funded income boosted total income growth.
The establishment of 4 new branches and investment in technology to improve business intelligence and support new products and services (e-banking, VISA Platform) led to a 34% increment in operating expenses.
Also, prudent provisioning by the bank to reflect delinquent loans resulted in high impairment charges; this affected profits for the year, which declined to GHc 13.4 Million.
Mrs Esua-Mensah said the bank expects to reverse in 2014-2015, as it focuses on increasing returns from current assets base rather than growing its loan book.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|