68 Mahogany Crescent
Akufo-Addo Residential Area
Dear Shareholders, On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my honour to welcome you to the Annual General Meeting of CalBank PLC for the year ended 31st December 2020, for which l am chairing for the first time.
Globally, the year 2020 was characterised by significant socio-economic, and geopolitical challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced economies around the world into lockdowns, disrupted livelihoods, and tested the limits of health systems. The Group’s strong capital and liquidity positions going into
this crisis has meant that the Group has proved resilient through this challenging time, providing the needed support to its customers, staff and
in the communities where we operate. Industry regulators responded with appropriate regulatory actions including interest rates reductions, easing of capital requirements, and working with the banking sector to waive some transaction fees to support people and businesses decimated by reduced cashflows from lockdowns.
Although, we do not know when the uncertainty and disruption will end, we are confident that, with the recent
roll out of vaccines, the global economic recovery will return towards the end of 2021.
Though the year 2020 was turbulent, your Bank recognised new opportunities, notably the opportunity to quicken the pace of our digitisation agenda and sharpen our efficiency. We invested in systems to ensure that our services were
available to our customers through lockdowns, providing essential financial advice and reliefs to support businesses in distress.
Following the review of our 2020 strategy which was focused on strengthening the core of the Bank, we have put in place a comprehensive
strategic plan for the next three years for the period 2021 to 2023, which seeks to accelerate
the growth of the Bank through technology, enhanced customer experience, and the
deepening of our retail offering. With the able support of management and staff of the Bank, the Board is confident that our collective efforts
will enable us deliver on the set goals
Ghana’s economy in the year 2020 was not spared the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenges of ballooning public debt arose out of government’s need to finance unplanned Covid-19 related expenditure without
adequate matching revenues.
The slow-down in economic activity and the drop in global oil prices ultimately contributed
to revenue shortfalls.
The economy was projected to grow by 1.8% in 2020 compared to the prior year’s growth of 6.5%. Inflation was relatively subdued throughout the year 2020, increasing from 7.9% in early 2020 to 10.4% in December 2020. The Central Bank reduced the Monetary Policy Rate by 1.5% in March 2020 from 16% in 2019 as part of its Covid-19 alleviation initiatives,
the rate remained unchanged at 14.5% throughout the year 2020.
On the back of a steady decline in interest rates, the benchmark 91-day Treasury bill reduced by 14 basis point to 14.09% at the end of 2020. The local currency depreciated by 3.9% against the United States dollar, 7.1% against the British Pound and, 2.1% against the Euro, realising its best performance in recent times
Ladies and Gentlemen, in spite of the daunting
operating environment enumerated above, our
performance for the year 2020 remained robust.
Group reported profit after tax increased by 23.3% to
GHS213.8 million compared with GHS173.4 million in 2019. Similarly, the Group’s total asset grew by 12.4% from GHS7.0 billion in the year 2019 to GHS7.9 billion at the end of the year 2020.
Share Price Performance
Banking stocks on the Ghana Stock Exchange tumbled
in the year 2020 causing the Financial Stocks Index
to lose 236.89 points or 11.73 percent year-on-year.
At the beginning of the year 2020, the Bank’s share
price was GHS0.89, dropping to GHS0.63 mid-year
2020. Your approval of the share-buyback in 2020, served shareholders well by moderating the downward pressure and we closed the year 2020 at GHS0.69 per share.
We are confident that, as we continue to create value for
the Bank, shareholders will be rewarded with significant
favorable movement in the share price on the local bourse
in the years ahead
At the end of year 2020, the Group maintained a
strong capital position with a minimum paid-up capital of
GHS400 million which is within the regulatory threshold.
The Group’s capital adequacy ratio of 22.3% was above
the revised statutory limit of 11.5 %.
In line with regulations of the Bank, the Board is pleased
to recommend a dividend per share of GHS0.11 amounting
to a total pay-out of GHS68.92 million subject to approval
by the Bank of Ghana. This is a clear demonstration of our
commitment to delivering superior returns to our valued
shareholders. Corporate Governance Sound and effective corporate governance is essential for the long-term success of the Group. The Board therefore remains committed to fulfilling its corporate governance
obligations and responsibilities in the best interests of the Group and its shareholders. The CalBank Board Charter establishes the framework through which our
responsibilities are executed and serves as the basis for
evaluating our performance.
In the year 2020, members of the Board were taken
through various training modules of Corporate Governance by both internal and external resource persons. The Board also ensured it carried out both internal and external
evaluations in line with best practice and regulatory
requirements. The Board shall always ensure the Group is
compliant with any corporate governance directives issued
by our regulators and shall be guided by these in the attainment of the Group’s corporate mission.
Changes in the Board of Directors
During the year, our former Chairman, Mr. Paarock
VanPercy, and the former MD Mr. Frank Adu retired as
Directors of the Bank. We would like to thank them for
their immense contribution to the development of our
Bank during their tenure.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to
inform you that the appointment of Dr. Cynthia Forson, an independent non-executive director which was approved by shareholders at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 5th December 2019 was approved by the Bank of Ghana during the year. We warmly welcome Director Dr. Cynthia Forson to the Board of CalBank.
In accordance with statutory requirements and the Bank’s
regulations, the following Directors, Helen Nankani,
Richard Arkutu and Ben Barth retire by rotation and are
eligible for re-election. They have consented to being
re-elected and your Board fully support this.
The Board at its meeting held on 4th February 2021,
approved the renewal of the contract of the Managing
Director, Philip Owiredu, for a further three-year term upon the expiration of his current contract on December
Looking ahead, there remains considerable uncertainty in
2021 about the ultimate toll of the Covid-19 pandemic on
our economy, your Bank, and the customers we support.
However the advent of various vaccines to mitigate the
symptomatic effect and significantly minimise transmission, gives us hope for a return to a sense of normalcy in the very near future. As your Board, we are optimistic that
your Bank will emerge from these unusual circumstances
stronger, our immediate goals are to ensure the safety of
our employees and customers, build an organisation which
is resilient and sustainable in the long-term and thereby
generate sustainable returns.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to recognise
CalBank’s entire leadership team, guided by the Board
and all employees, who worked tirelessly to ensure that our customers and communities are better served throughout the year. Finally, I would like to thank you our shareholders and the larger stakeholder community for your continued confidence in the Group as we navigate into an exciting future.
I am confident we will continue to deliver strong and
consistent financial results in the years ahead.