An Africa Business Community
Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited capped a successful 2011 with solid financial results, in an era when industry margins are shrinking.
Zenith Bank achieved a 115 percent profit after tax, from GH¢10.9 million in 2010 to GH¢23.5 million in 2011.
Instructively, while net income interest, which is normally the main driver of banks profits, dropped by 35 percent in the year under review to GH¢21.5 million, non-interest income grew by 47 percent becoming the main anchor which Zenith’s strong showing hinged on.
“First of all, I would like to take thank our customers for their patronage and loyalty – without whom we could not have achieved these results” said Mr. Daniel Asiedu MD/CEO of Zenith Bank described the results as “very encouraging”, and attributed the performance to the bank’s ability to efficiently manage its costs.
A testament to the bank’s ability to manage its costs prudently reflected again in its net impairment loss on financial assets. During the period under review, Zenith Bank reduced its net impairment loss by 53 percent from GH¢9.03 million to GH¢ 4.3 million.
“Last year, we decided that we shall focus on improving the bottom-line, by being cost-effective without necessarily having to increase our lending portfolio and our charges.
“Everything we did was purely from the efficiency point of view. In a regime where margins are shrinking we needed to operate more efficiently.
“In time past, we tried to grow our deposits aggressively because our emphasis was on growing the balance sheet line.”
“This year, the strategy will be no different”.
Mr. Asiedu said the Bank would pursue its cost effective strategy, while at the same time will ensure that it increases its lending portfolio.
“We will improve lending, and we intend to grow deposits aggressively by relying on inexpensive funds. We shall also look to improve our non-interest income, by targeting certain transactions which would not necessarily increase our loan book.”
“In addition we intend to blaze the trail by introducing more innovative and technology driven products in the market soon.”
Zenith Bank Ghana Limited was incorporated in April 2005 under the country's Banking Act 2004 as a private limited liability company and commenced universal banking operation in September 2005.
Since then, the bank has consistently excited the Ghanaian banking public with uniquely customized financial products and services that cater to the different segments of the country's consuming public.
Such products include: Church Premium Account, a customized package for churches which provides same with cash handling and management and other personalised financial services; Zenith Pay Advance Salary Scheme with an automatic feature of meeting the financial requirements of salaried employees and Zenith Investment Plan Account, designed to build up financial resources for future use, among others.
Like the parent company, Zenith Bank Ghana structures its business strategy around the tripod of people (highly skilled staff), Service (uniquely excellent services) and Technology (investment in cutting edge information technology).