Feb 7, 2014, 10:43 AM
The AGM was meant to receive and adopt the annual report and consolidated accounts for the year ended 31 December 2014, as well as to declare dividends.
It was also held to re-elect directors, approve the remuneration of directors, and appoint auditors, among others.
The financial statement and account for the year ended 2014, was adopted at the AGM.
In his statement, TBL Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the year 2014 saw the bank sustain its earnings growth for the third consecutive year, despite a challenging operating environment.
The bank has continued to consolidate its stature as the leading bank in the country across all noted key performance indicators, such as total assets, deposit base and profitability, he said.
The global economy remained subdued in 2014, owing to continued weakness in advanced economies with the exception of the United States, he said.
The growth outturn for 2014 remained thus flat at 3.3 per cent, he added.
He also said that in the banking industry, there were 12 banks operating in the market in 2014.
“The industry remains sound and adequately capitalized. The industry’s risk weighted capital adequacy ratio averaged 30 per cent in 2014, well above the statutory minimum of 10 per cent,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
According to him, the Central Bank is taking active steps to promote the private sector to lead by addressing structural challenges that have long been an impediment for credit growth; notably by actively encouraging better credit reference services and by promoting a bill, which would allow for the creation of security interests over moveable assets.
Regarding the bank’s performance in 2014, he said, they grew the group’s net interest income by 39 per cent from D260 million in 2013 to D363 million and profit after tax by 23 per cent from D146 million in 2013 to D179 million.
“Our balance sheet has also become more robust; total assets grew by 1 per cent from D4.3 billion to D4.7 billion while customer deposit also grew by 1 per cent over the course of 2014 to D4.1 billion. Our Non-performing loan NPL ratio slightly increased to 2 per cent in 2014 from the 1 per cent recorded in 2013,” he said.
In furtherance of the goal to maintain a healthy balance sheet, the bank revamped its credit risk management procedures in 2014, which should help to cement the new era of low loan provisions, he added.
In his remarks, Pa Macoumba Njie, Managing Director of Trust Bank, said that over the last four years, The Gambia has witnessed some significant economic headwinds in part due to the spillover effects of challenges in advanced economies since the onset of theglobal financial crisis(lower bilateral support) and poor harvest in ( 2012 and 2014).
“This has challenged government finances and resultantly weakened the local currency, and brought about heightened inflationary pressures, even though inflation is still well anchored below single digits,” MD Njie said.
He added that these challenges had resulted in a “choppy economic growth” over the period and a tightening of “the monetary screws”, which has seen the Central Bank of The Gambia policy rate peak to 22 per cent.
According to MD Njie, the banking sector continued to be stable, sound and satisfactorily capitalized to absorb shocks.
Although this was indicative of a healthy banking system, it also points to a trend of lower private sector lending by deposit money banks, he noted.
“The Central Bank is playing a very active role in helping to remedy this situation by enhancing the regulatory and supervisory framework of the banking system with the aim of reducing the cost of financial intermediation,” he said.