Ghana Banks Record 97.2 Percent Profit

Banks in the country recorded 97.2 percent profit at the end of February this year. That is according to highlights of Bank�s Income Statement released by the Bank of Ghana. The improvement in earnings was due to significant growth in fees and commission and other income as well as a slower growth in operating expenses. According to the Bank of Ghana, growth in net fees and commission rose from 22.8 percent in February 2011 to 40.1 percent in February 2012 while other income also posted significant increases. Last year, almost all banks recorded some appreciable growth. For instance while Barclays posted a 35 percent profit, that of UT and HFC were 71 and 30 percent growth respectively. At the same time, the banking industry�s interest expenses contracted by four percent in February 2012 compared to 32.4 percent contraction recorded in February 2011. This, the Central Bank said reflected improved macroeconomic conditions. The industry�s return on assets and return on equity also increased appreciably. However, Interest income from loans which continues to be the main source of income for the banking industry constituted 45.6 percent of total income compared with 48.3 percent in February. With regard to the balance sheet, total assets of the banking sector as at February 2012 grew by 26.6 percent compared with 25.2 percent in the same period in 2011. Net loans and advances also grew by 37.1 percent compared with a slower growth rate of 5.7 a year ago. In all, the Central Bank said the banking industry is adequately capitalized, liquid and profitable. At the same time the financial soundness indicators measured in terms of earnings, portfolio quality, liquidity, and capital adequacy remained strong.