Business News of Friday, 19 April 2013
UT Bank has unveiled its new innovation in banking dubbed “UT Bank on Wheels” to its shareholders at the bank’s 2013 annual general meeting in Accra. UT Bank on Wheels is a mobile branch equipped with communications and technology systems to offer real-time online banking services to the general public with convenience.
It will provide full banking services including cash payments and withdrawals, current accounts and savings accounts opening, international money transfers, foreign cash deposits and withdrawals, Ezwich, ATM services, and other retail banking services. Pearl Esua-Mensah, Deputy Managing Director of UT Bank, said the innovation is in line with the bank’s vision of redefining banking and bringing banking to the doorsteps of the “real people”.
“The essence of implementing UT Bank on Wheels is to effectively and efficiently reach out to this segment of the bankable population by taking banking to their doorsteps.”
She said the van will provide convenience, reduced turnaround time, and accessibility to markets, secondary and tertiary institutions –adding that “customers do not have to leave their shops/ businesses for a long period of time to conduct business in brick-and-mortar branches; the Bank on Wheels enables them to conduct their transactions close to their business”.
Features of the mobile branch include an ATM, two teller service points, a customer service area, a telecommunications system, a television for screening the bank’s messages, and the ability to offer service from remote locations.
UT Bank last year declared a jump in total assets by 38.5 percent, from GH¢713million in 2011 to GH¢987 million in 2012. Chief Executive Kofi Amoabeng said this was mainly on account of a sharp increase in net loans and advances by 43.1 percent, from GH¢475million to GH¢680million.
The bank also registered a 54.4 percent increase in profit before tax to GH¢26.7million, while the non-performing loans ratio reduced from 13.9 percent in 2011 to 11.9 percent in 2012, reflecting the improving efficiency in their loan-portfolio management.
Mr. Amoabeng explained that the increase in loans and advances was made possible by the additional equity and term-debt raised from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), African Capitalisation Fund (AFC) and the German Investment and Development Corporation (DEG).
Shareholders’ funds increased by 109.8 percent from GH¢61million to GH¢128million, and customer deposits grew significantly by 46.2 percent — rising from GH¢546 million in 2011 to GH¢798 million in 2012. The bank’s income grew by 32.6 percent from 2011, pushing its total income to GH¢105million in 2012.
Mr. Amoabeng said the 36.7 percent growth in operating expenses was a result of integrating new businesses, investments in infrastructure, network upgrades and the associated costs from the raising of capital.