Ecobank’s AGM is the occasion for many small shareholders from all over Africa to lobby for dividends and ask questions about the bank’s performance in a conducive atmosphere. This year’s AGM ended punctually, with all resolutions adopted quickly and unanimously.
Ecobank returned to profitability in 2017 and it intends to restart paying dividends in the future. Profits were $182 million, against net revenues of $1.8 billion. Expenses fell by 9% to $1.1billion. The return on equity was 11.6%. Risk management processes were strengthened. The digitisation strategy is starting to yield results and the bank aims to reach 100 million customers by 2020. The 2017 African Banker Awards named Ecobank as the “Most Innovative Bank of the Year.”
In Nigeria, 2000 jobs were cut and 74 branches closed while in 18 other countries, 600 jobs were shed and 75 branches closed. The bank no longer aims to be among the Top 3 players in all its African markets. It wants to be the leading commercial bank by revenues by 2020 in sub-Saharan Africa.
The international platforms of Ecobank in Paris, London, Beijing and Dubai maintained their number 1 ranking on most of the 25+ African currencies transacted.
In the first quarter of 2018, Ecobank reported a profit of $111 million on revenues of $465 million. Expenses were $286 million. The cost to income ratio was down to 61.5%. Deposits grew to $15.5 billion and customer loans were $8.9 billion.
The Bank is present in 36 countries in Africa and employs 16,000 staff comprising 43 nationalities.