By Alhagie Sora
Trust Bank Gambia Limited on Tuesday 12 May 2015 held its Seventeenth (17) Annual General Meeting at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi. The purpose of the AGM among other things is to receive and adopt the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December, 2014 to declare Dividends, to re-elect retiring Directors, to approve the remuneration of Directors, to appoint the Auditors of the Bank until the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting, to authorize the Board to determine the remuneration of the Auditors and to transact any other business appropriate to be dealt with at any Annual General Meeting.
Ken Ofori-Atta the Chairman said that the year 2014 saw that the bank sustained its earnings growth for the third consecutive year despite a challenging operating environment. He said the bank continues to consolidate its stature as the leading bank in the country across all noted key performance indicators, namely; total assets, deposit base and profitability.
Given the heavy dependence on primary commodities by key economies in the Region, the decline in commodity prices in particular may pose a major challenge to key economies in the West African sub-region in particular those that are especially dependent on oil, he remarked.
He said in The Gambia there were 12 Banks operating in our market in 2014 and the industry remains sound and adequately capitalized.
He however noted that private sector lending declined by 9 percent over the course of 2014. The Central Bank, he said, is taking active steps to promote more private sector lending by addressing structural challenges that have long been an impediment for credit growth.
Regarding dividends, the chairman said, “The Board is recommending a final dividend of 30 bututs per share, which brings the total dividend to 60 bututs per share for the financial year 2014. The final dividend represents a payout of D120 million compared to a payout of D100 million for the 2013 financial year.”
For the Equity Investments he said Bayba Financial Services Ltd, the Bank’s wholly owned subsidiary completed its fourth year of operation in December 2014. “Bayba has once again delivered another strong performance. Profit after tax for 2014 was D28million compared to a profit of D23 million in the previous year.”
Continuing, he said saving in the income statement, the Group’s performance, which comprises of the Consolidated results of the Bank and its wholly owned subsidiary Bayba Financial Services Company Ltd, show a growth in net interest income of 39% from D260 million in 2013 to D363 million in 2014. Total operating income increased by 11% from D551 million to D609 million, while total expenses including loan loss provisions increased by 10% from D321 million to D352 million. These combined, resulted in a growth in pretax profits of 11% from D231 million to D257 million.”
He added that total assets grew by 1% from D4.6 billion to D4.7 billion, with the bulk of this growth resulting from technology improvements and the improvement of our branch network.
For the corporate social responsibility he said the Bank continued to fulfill its social responsibilities by actively participating in activities aimed at worthy causes in the areas of education, healthcare, social services and disaster recovery. “Overall, we spent over D2.5M assisting various sectors and causes’’.