Tough business environment hits bank profits

3514188435032_4808270970462The current challenging business environment has negatively affected the profits of some listed banks for first half of this year.

For the first time in long while, some of the banks listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) saw earnings decline, while some even recorded a loss.

UT leads the pack with a 30.6 million Ghana cedis loss.

Three other listed banks, HFC, Standard Chartered and SG-SSB were not spared.

HFC’s earnings slumped from 25.9 million Ghana cedis to about 18 million Ghana cedis.

SG-SSB profits declined to 13.2 million cedis while Standard Chartered Bank profits also declined to 73 million dollars from 110 million Ghana cedis.

However the situation was different for some banks.

ECOBANK’s profit increased substantially to 195 million Ghana cedis, followed closely by GCB with 151 million Ghana cedis.

CAL Bank also recorded a 78 million Ghana cedis profit for half year.

Some analyst say the declining profits was due to the fluctuating cedi, tax hikes and a power crisis that has shot up the cost of doing business, which have affected the ability of most businesses to pay loans borrowed on time.

The slump in earnings of the banks could have serious impact on the economy. Some analysts even fear access to credit could prove a daunting task going forward.