Ghana is leading its Anglophone West African counterparts in Ecobank Group’s financial performance for the year 2018.

The Ecobank Group increased its profit before tax by 51 per cent from $288 million to $436 million as compared to 2017.

Commercial banking for the Group last year returned to a profit, after recording a loss in 2017.

According to Group Chief Executive of Ecobank Ade Ayeyemi, “Anglophone West Africa’s key heavyweight, Ghana continues to support the growth with a rate above 5% despite the re-basing of the economy”.

Shareholders of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) unanimously accepted a proposal by the Board to transfer its profit earnings of 2018 into strengthening the growth of the bank without paying dividends.

The Group’s profit after tax of $322 million is expected to boost the bank’s capital as well as improve the accounts for the other countries it operates in.

Speaking at the Bank’s 31st Annual General meeting in Lome, Togo, Group Chairman of ETI, Emmanuel Ikazoboh assured shareholders that the bank will start paying dividends very soon when the earnings for the Group improves.

“Over the last few years, we have taken strong measures to ‘Secure the Foundations’ of Ecobank and the Board is confident that our strategy, and the actions that we have taken so far, have positioned the company for sustainable future growth with a return on equity above the cost of equity.”

Mr Ade Ayeyemi on his part disclosed that the bank is making a profit but want to sustain the profitability for the future.

He said, “It is the long-term financial success of the company that remains paramount. As such, we will continue to build on and enhance the technology platforms that enable us to engage with more customers and partners and deploy a robust digital communications strategy. The traditional bank model that we all know is rapidly changing with technology and we must continue to position ourselves effectively to succeed in this technological journey of transformation.”

Meanwhile, the shareholders have also renewed the mandates of the CEO to serve for another three years as a Director on the board of the bank.

The 31st AGM also provided a platform for the bank to demonstrate its commitment to promoting positive environmental and social change with the launch of the Ecobank Group Chairman Sustainability Award.

This encourages all Ecobank affiliates and employees to develop sustainable projects and transactions that will have beneficial impacts on issues such as health, education, financial inclusion.