Data from the financial statements of about 60% of banks in the country for the first half of the year 2021, shows promising increases in profits for some and some slowdown in profit growth for others.
This can be gleaned from the Summary Statements of Comprehensive Incomes of 13 of Ghana’s top banks covering January to June 2021, after a year in which COVID-19 ravaged all aspects of the economy.
ADB Bank, out of the 13 banks reviewed by Citi Business News, saw an increase of about 80% in its profit after tax, the highest jump so far from the first 6 months of 2020 when compared to the same period in 2021.
The bank ended the first half of 2020 and 2021 with profits of about GHS30.96 million and GHS55.7 million respectively.
The next bank to see high growth in its profits was the Republic Bank Ghana, which saw its profit increase by about 77%, rising from about GHS24 million by the end of June 2020 to about GHS43 million in 2021.
A bank like Ecobank Ghana with one of the largest asset bases in the banking sector saw profits further improve by about 28% in the period under review, from almost GHS 250 million to a little over GHS 320 million in 2021.
GCB Bank’s profit after tax for the period under review also increased steadily by about 25% from about GHS182 million in 2020 to about GHS227 million in 2021.
Other banks like Standard Chartered, GT Bank, Fidelity Bank and Access Bank also saw profits soar, but by below 20 percent in the first 6 months of 2021 when compared with the same period in 2021.
Standard Chartered Bank for example saw its profits jump by about 19 percent from GHS 208 million in 2022 to about GHS 248 million in 2021. Some of the banks reviewed however saw very marginal growth in profits while one recorded a loss.
Even though its profit numbers were still strong in the first half of 2021, over GHS67 million, SG-SSB Bank still saw its profitability wane slightly, growing by about 3 percent from about GHS65 million in 2020.
UBA Bank on the other hand saw negative profit growth, recording a profit after tax from January to June 2021 of GHS82.4 million, a drop from the GHS93.5 million recorded in the previous year. OmniBsic Bank meanwhile recorded a loss of GHS11.7 million.
Overall, the Central bank in its assessment of the banking sector performance for the first 6 months in 2021 stated that performance of the reflected sustained growth in total assets, investments and deposits. Total assets increased by 17.2 percent to GH¢162.9 billion, on account of strong growth of 28.8 percent in investments in government securities to GH¢75.7 billion.
Profit before tax accordingly increased by 32.1 percent to GH¢3.6 billion, higher than the growth of 14.0 percent a year ago. Total deposits recorded a year-on-year growth of 22.5 percent to GH¢110.3 billion on the back of strong liquidity flows.
Overall, the impact of the pandemic on the industry’s performance has been moderate, according to the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee press release in July 2021. According to that release, pre the financial soundness indicators, the banking sector has remained solvent, liquid, profitable and well-capitalized.