Ecobank – a story of Sustainable Banking

Its that time of the year again and Ghanaian Banks have released their 2013 financial results. Clearly that makes interesting reading. One publication that I found of interest is that of Ecobank Ghana.

The Pan-African Bank. The annual report of the Bank reveals that the Bank’s strong financial performance: 44% growth in Profit Before tax, 52% growth in Loans, 37% growth in Total Assets, 32% growth in deposits, Revenue growth of 40%. Cost Income ratio was pegged at 45.3%, while return on Average Equity was 37%.

The Ghanaian population has trusted Ecobank with its Deposits, the highest of all the Banks in Ghana indicating the confidence the Bank possess. The Investor community clearly has confidence in the Bank, over the last 12 months (from 1st March 2013 to 28th February 2014) the Bank’s share price increased by 111%.

Ecobank Ghana’s loan book of GHC 2.1 billion is the largest in the Banking sector (by far). The Bank supports all aspects of the Ghanaian economy.

According the Bank’s Managing Director Samuel Ashitey Adjei “profitability and growth sustainability is not only a vision, but hugely resultant of excellent management disciplines, an unrelenting focus on execution, consistent management of risks, competitive product sets and outstanding customers service”.

Of interest is the Banks focus on Sustainability. The Bank’s business transactions are evaluated against environmental and social sustainability standards to ensure that only business activities conducted in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner are financed by the Bank.

Indeed, in 2013, a total of 212 transactions valued at USD 1.1 billion were screened for this purpose. Ecobank also works with its clients to identify and implement migration and corrective action plants to minimize any negative impact that transactions may precipitate in the environment.

The Bank continues to promote private sector participation in the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology products. Internally, a low carbon footprints practice aimed at reducing electricity consumption and paper usage and is being encouraged across the Bank, further demonstrating it is commitment to improved environmental performance and sustainability.

Ecobank is also compliant with standards set by international Organizations such as International Finance Corporation (IFC) on environmental and social issues. Annually, the Bank submits portfolio information to relevant regulatory bodies including IFC for review and has the opportunity to discuss gaps and shortfalls with the view to enhancing performance.

Ecobank is also a signatory to the UN Charter Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten (10) universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

The Bank has adopted the Equator principles, another Environmental Social Governance protocol that focuses on a risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk projects finance transactions with a face value greater than USD 10 million.

The Bank’s low carbon banking operation has informed the design and implementation of a carbon footprint total score card for collation of monthly data on energy, travel and paper usage as a measure for determining the savings in carbon footprint. Key initiatives for carbon footprint management include Solar lightening signage and Solar powered ATMs.

It is refreshing to note that a Bank is not only interested in maximizing profits but also doing it in environmentally sustainable manner. This is kind of banking we need – sustainable Banking.
The Bank continues

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