By Tabora Bojang
Standard Chartered, the country’s oldest commercial bank has made a whooping D114 million profit before tax as compared to D103 Million in 2015, the bank announced on Thursday at its annual general meeting (AGM).
The AGM, held at Kairaba Beach Hotel reviewed the bank’s 2016 activities.
Addressing bank officials, board chairman, Alpha Barry, said 2016 represented “a year of great uncertainty” for the country’s economy, especially before and during the election.
That, he said, happened because there was a great apprehension from the business community that left the general populace wondering on the outcome of the election results and the dispute that followed.
Despite all these difficulties, he said the bank’s performance improved year upon year. “We maintained our strategic focus on the basis of banking in a very challenging period and delivered improved results,” he said.
Barry said they recommended a final dividend of 10 bututs on top of the interim dividend paid of 15 bututs per share after making adjustments for statutory reserve.
He further expressed his hope of a promising global and domestic growth for the future, saying 3.4% is currently expected in 2017 which if realised could mark the beginning of a period of accelerated growth according to the IMF.
“On the domestic front, we expect that the political changes and the tremendous goodwill it brings will further boost recovery in the major economic sectors driving economic growth in 2017. Our strategic priorities have left us in good shape to continue supporting our clients and capitalise on the growth opportunities for the business,” he stated.
The bank’s outgoing CEO, Albert Saltson, said: “Although the bank’s performance for the year signifies our underlying strength, we recognised our financial returns are not yet where they need to be and do not reflect the earning capability we believe we posse.”
“While we continue to implement and adapt our strategic priorities to rapidly changing global and local economic environments, we are also focused on realising the bank’s earnings potential. We do this by fully re-engaging with our clients, improving productivity and investing in our people and culture,” he said
Mr Saltson, who is moving to Uganda to also serve there as CEO, will be replaced by a veteran banker Olukorede Adenowo who had served the bank in various capacities over the past years.