MD, GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje
By Kunle Aderinokun and Goddy Egene
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has launched its Francophone West Africa expansion with the opening of its first branch in Cote D’Ivoire last Monday.
The Managing Director of GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, who disclosed at an interaction with journalists in Lagos, noted that the entry into the Francophone region was in line with new focus on developing off-shore banking franchise, following divestment from its non-banking subsidiaries.
The bank completed its Anglophone West Africa expansion in 2009 with GTBank Liberia. It also has its subsidiaries in Ghana, Gambia and Sierra Leone.
Agbaje said that as part of efforts to extend its quality services to more customers, GTBank has established 22 electronic branches with the target to hit 76 e-branches at the end of 2012.
Apart from the e-branches, he disclosed that the bank would open 10 new full branches in 2012.
According to him, in 2007, GTBank had a strategic plan that by 2012, it would be the number one bank in Nigeria, in terms of profit before tax and return on equity/profitability, maintain cost to income stability through unparalleled efficiency and expand leadership position across West Africa.
He said that GTBank was on course in meeting those goals.
The bank posted N52.653 billion profit after tax (PAT) for the year ended December 2011, which is “the highest PAT so far posted by any bank.”
Agbaje said that the high profitability was achieved through a concerted effort to improve efficiency, expenses control and growth in customer base.
He noted that concerted efforts were made by the management to improve efficiency, in an increasingly competitive operating environment. According to him, the bank witnessed growth across all revenue lines.
“Increase in interest income was driven by growth in interest income from a larger loan book despite increased competition in the high-end banking space. Growth in income from investments in government securities was enhanced by return to positive interest rates. Growth income from interbank placements was achieved because GTBank remained a net placer in the interbank market in 2011,” he said.
Agbaje said that as the bank continued to record improve results over the years, GTBank ensured that shareholders were adequately rewarded, hence the recommendation of final dividend of 85 kobo for the year. Having paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo before, shareholders would be getting total dividend of N1.10 per share for the year.
He added that GTBank’s commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy led to the allocation of 22 per cent of the loan portfolio to the manufacturing sector in 2011.
GTBank’s loans and advances in 2011 stood at N716 billion, indicating that about N158 billion, which is 22 per cent, went to the manufacturing sector.
He said that despite the high level of loans and advances, there was a robust strategy in place to ensure high credit quality.
According to bank’s non-performing loans (NPL) dropped from 6.7 per cent in 2010 to 3.7 per cent in 2011.