Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited (Stanchart) posted an impressive profit before tax of ¢435 billion in 2006, as against ¢354 billion the previous year.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Dr Ishmael Yamson, announced at the bank's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra that the bank's interest income also increased by 19 per cent from ¢711 billion in 2005 to ¢846 billion last year.
The total assets of the bank also went up by 36 per cent from ¢5.14 trillion in 2005 to ¢6.995 trillion in 2006.
Stanchart returned 39 per cent on shareholders' equity, giving rise to an earning per share of ¢15,732, an increase of 19 per cent over the figure for 2005.
Shareholders approved a dividend pay out of ¢13,000 per share, amounting to ¢229 billion, up by 13 per cent from the 2005 figure of ¢202 billion.
Dr Yamson said the bank's impressive performance was due to various factors, including the diversification of its sources of income, such as the preference shares it issued last year.
He said the bank was committed to exemplary corporate governance standards, saying, “We are on track in the implementation of best policy themes of international subsidiary governance guidelines.”
The chairman said the bank continued to adopt international best practices, such as know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) and Base II, and that it had actively engaged the government and regulators to share its skills and expertise and work in partnership to support sustainable development.
On outlook, Mr Yamson said the bank believed in a robust economy, with improving macro-economic fundamentals, which were an incentive to the growth of the banking industry.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Ebenezer Essoka, said this year the bank would continue to improve on its performance through strategic investments and optimal portfolio allocation, while minimising cost.
He said although the bank's consumer banking out-performed the industry in balance sheet growth, it would seek to stay ahead of the stiff competition brought about by new entrants through aggressive sales model and strategic market expansion.
Mr Essoka said the bank would also focus on wholesale banking, build its staff into leaders, reinforce the brand and continue to improve on every aspect of its operations.