Société Générale scales DDEP threat to post profits
Hakim Ouzzani (left), MD, Société Générale, François Pousse (middle), Deputy MD, Société Générale, and Emmanuel Martey, Partner, Audit and Assurance, Deloitte and Touch, interacting after the AGM
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Société Générale scales DDEP threat to post profits

One of the country’s foremost banks, Société Générale, ended the 2023 financial year on a positive noted, posting a profit after tax of GH¢424.8 million.

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This represents a 290% increase over the previous year’s figure of GH¢108.8 million.

The growth was driven by the elevated interest rates and well controlled cost of risk.

In spite of the profit growth, the bank did not declare any dividend due to a directive from the industry regulator, Bank of Ghana to some financial sector players not to pay dividends to shareholders on the back of the implementation of the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) which severely impaired the financial position of many players within the industry.

The bank’s liquidity improved from 88% to 105% in the year under review. This was largely influenced by the 111% and 20% growth in investments and deposits respectively.

Compared to the bank’s performance last year and consistent with the increase in loans and investments in 2023, total assets significantly increased. 

Announcing the results at bank’s annual general meeting in Accra, Managing Director of Société Générale, Hakim Ouzzani said “the year 2023 was a pivotal one for one specific reason; it was the year post the Domestic Debt Exchange program (DDEP).

Whilst the DDEP had minimal impact on the bank's profitability, it still posed an indirect third-party risk (inability of clients to repay loans due to investment of company funds in Government Securities).”

He said “I am happy to report that these envisaged risks were managed very well, thanks to the unmatched skills of the team members and our risk department. 

Bank’s exit news

The Managing Director used the occasion to diffuse speculations surrounding the bank’s exit from the Ghanaian banking sector.

“Some rumours have indeed taken root regarding SG Ghana. But it’s important to mention to all our stakeholders and our shareholders that the news item being circulated in the media was not issued by the group nor by SG Ghana.

We don’t want to comment further. But I insist on record that the report is not by SG Ghana,” the Managing Director said.

2024 outlook

The Board Chairperson of the bank, Margaret Boateng Sekyere, said the bank will continue to work in close liaison with the Bank of Ghana to strengthen its Regulatory Framework.

“We will continue to manage and control all of our risks, that is credit, operational, cybersecurity, environmental, compliance and reputational, by strengthening our risk culture, sense of responsibility and ethical behavior. 

We will aim to achieve the high commercial and financial ambitions; Manage the convergence of our systems, operations, use-cases and processes to streamline our costs over time and deliver an equivalent standard in the Bank; we will keep the customer at the center of our concerns as bankers, while maintaining the principles of ingenuity and pragmatism in the solutions we offer them to increase their satisfaction,” she said.

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