UT Bank launches Bank on Wheels



UT Bank, one of the top 10 banks on the Ghana Club 100 list has introduced, for the first time in Ghana, two vans on which customers and prospective customers can access full banking services almost at their door step.

The service, better described as “Bank on Wheels”, enables the bank to move its full banking services, including ATM, foreign exchange service, saving, loans transaction and others to markets, schools and various communities which do not have access to banking service.

Deputy Managing Director at UT Bank, Pearl Esua-Mensah explained that it is expensive opening branches in areas where the returns are very little, but UT had always wanted to bank as many of the unbanked Ghanaians as possible and that was the motivation for the “Bank on Wheels”.

“This means the many Ghanaians who do not have time to travel long distances to banks in other towns, those who keep their moneys under their beds, and traders who keep moneys in their shops can now save and access their moneys safely and conveniently when UT’s Banks on Wheels goes their way,” she said.

She said for starters there are two banks of wheels, which have already started going to some markets such as the ones in Kasoa, Nkawkaw and some deprived communities in and around Accra.

But with the full approval of the bank of Ghana, UT plans to bring in more of the Bank of Wheels vans to travel the length and breadth of the country offering banking services to Ghanaians.

“The bank on wheels will go to different areas on schedule so people just need to know when their turn is and then go to the bank,” she said.

UT bank also announced it would open six new branches this year, at Tamale and in parts of Accra and Kumasi.

Meanwhile, at the bank’s recent Annual General Meeting, where the Bank on Wheels was launched, the bank declared 54% increase in profits before tax and 60% increase in profits after tax, on the basis of which it declared 2Gp dividend per share, while its earnings per share increased marginally from 43Gp in 2011 to 46Gp last year.

Pearl Esua-Mensah explained that the rather slow growth in earnings per share was attributable to the increase in the bank’s shares mid last year.

Total shareholders fund therefore stood at GHC128 million, which is 109% higher than what it was at the beginning of the year, according to Mrs. Esua-Mensah.

She said total asset however increased by 38% to GHC987 million, and shot the bank to number in the industry, from number 23 and couples of years bank.

Customer deposits increased from GHC545million in 2011 to GHC797million last year, while the bank’s loans and advances portfolio increased 43.1% to GHC618million.

Interest income increased 34% but was neutralized by interest expenses which increased by 44% due to the government Treasury Bills rate.

“We however made up for it with 59.9% increase in net income commissioning and 25.7% increase in other operating incomes,” Mrs. Esua-Mensah noted.

She said while non-funded income grew 47.4%, operating expenses also went up by 36.7%, which was higher than expected, but the 60% profits after tax compensated for that.

The bank also reduced its non-performing loans from 13.9% in 2011 to 11.9%, and on the back of the private placement last year, its capital went up by another GHC46 million.

Mrs. Esua-Mensah said over the period under review, the bank won several laurels including Bank of the Year, Most Respected Bank of the Year after just three years of operations, and also won several other awards, plus it was first runner up in several other categories at the Ghana Banking Awards.

“Our CEO, Mr. Prince Kofi Amoabeng has also remained the Most Respected CEO of the Year for three consecutive years and he was also the first Jonnie Walker Walk with the Giants Ambassador last year,” she said.

She assured shareholders of a aggressive improvement in performance in 2013, branch network expansion, increased trade finance lines, which has already risen from GHC20million to GHC100million last year alone.