Indigenous publicly listed lender CalBank Plc says it will grow its loan book in a measured approach without risking the health of its balance sheet, even as it seeks to support the nation’s recovery from the harms of the pandemic.
“The health of the bank’s balance sheet is key to us; we will grow our loan book without creating impairments or bad loans within a short period of time. As a bank, we should be able to ensure that we provide loans to critical sectors to spur the growth of the economy,” Managing Director Philip Owiredu said at the lender’s virtual “Fact behind the Figures” session.
“That process is ongoing; we have revamped our retail franchise and segmented them to strongly focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), looking at the personal loan offerings that we have. If you look at the industry, Cal is one of the banks with a high loan portfolio,” he added.
As a heavy player in the fixed income market, the bank has a ready channel for its liability mobilisation, according to Mr. Owiredu, with the bank remaining keen on lending to the services, industry, health, and agriculture sectors, as well as direct government lending.
CalBank has a short-term target to become a tier-one bank, measured by total assets, at the end of 2023 whilst commanding a strong retail presence by leveraging innovation and customer-centricity.
The bank posted a robust balance sheet at the end of the third quarter, with total assets of the group increasing from GH¢7.6bn to GH¢8.7bn, representing an increase of 13.9 percent during the review period and funded by the significant increase in deposits of 37.5 percent.
In the period under review, CalBank witnessed a remarkable uptake of its electronic and digital channels, with significant increases in both the volume and value of transactions on its mobile banking app, growing by 63 percent and 64 percent respectively.
Net interest income decreased by 10 percent compared to the same period last year, resulting from a 30.5 percent decrease in interest from loans and advances, due largely to the sell-down of some significant loans in quarter-four 2020.
CalBank’s commissions and fees increased by 34.9 percent against the prior year on account of increased activities in the bank’s electronic banking services, whilst trading income and other income grew by 119.8 percent, primarily driven by significant increases in fixed income trading activities.