Access Bank to grow loan book this year

Access Bank to grow loan book this year

Mr Kris Ifeanyi Njokuif Access Bank Ghana has committed to aggressively growing its loan books due to the unattractiveness of the investment securities market.

At the Ghana Stock Exchange’s (GSE’s) Facts Behind the Figures on April 16, the Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, Mr Kris Ifeanyi Njokuif, said the bank would be focusing more on lending to customers and businesses this year.

“If you look at the trend over the last five years, the rate on treasury bills has declined from levels of about 25 per cent to about 14.5 per cent currently, so as a bank, even if you do not want to do the real business of lending, you are now compelled to do so,” he stated.

“So as a bank, we will not be making incremental investments in securities, rather we will be creating more loans to support the banking public and businesses,” he added.

He said the bank would be growing its loan books responsibly in sectors that it understood and to customers who were qualified.

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High NPLs

Commenting on the bank’s non-performing loans (NPL) ratio which was higher than the industry average, Mr Ifeanyi Njokuif said that was due to a decline in its loan books in 2018.

Its NPLs declined marginally from 32.31 per cent in 2017 to 32.01 per cent in 2018, which was still higher than the industry average of 18.2 per cent.

He said the bank, therefore, intended to use the same strategy of growing its loan books aggressively this year to tackle the NPL issue.“We want to close the year at 18 per cent,” he said.He said the bank wrote off about GH¢61 million in 2018.He said most of those NPLs were in the manufacturing sector, which accounted for 49 per cent.Expanding to other countriesThe managing director also revealed plans by the bank to expand to three African countries before the end of the year.“We expect to open in Kenya, Cameroun and Mozambique before the end of 2019.We are currently going through the approvals in these countries and the resources to make this happen have also been identified.The process has already started and we are sure to complete it by third quarter of the year,” he explained. Dividends On dividends, the managing director said the bank was yet to decide on whether to pay dividends […]

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