Fidelity Bank, Ghana’s largest privately-owned indigenous bank, has set up a new department to champion the Bank’s sustainability and social impact drive. The ‘Partnerships, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Department’ is to ensure that the Bank achieves the dual objective of providing maximum value to stakeholders without compromising its impact on the environment and society. This is also in fulfillment of the Bank’s commitment to embark on an expanded and ambitious sustainability and social impact strategy that focuses on three pillars – Sustainable Finance, Sustainable Operations, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The department will work with all the other departments to integrate its sustainability principles across all its activities and operations. This was contained in a press release issued to the Ghana News Agency by the Bank on Wednesday,following its virtual Annual General Meeting, onFriday, May 26. The AGM gave shareholders the opportunity to consider and adopt the report of the directors for the Fiscal Year, which ended 31st December 2022. According to the statement, the sustainability vision of the Bank was to create a sustainable future for all Ghanaians, by supporting inclusive economic growth, reducing its environmental footprint, maintaining high standards of governance and ethics, and engaging with stakeholders to build trust and foster long-term partnerships. Key among the initiatives of the Bank’s ‘wide-reaching sustainability and Social Impact plan was the its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility intervention dubbed: Orange Impact, which was already underway’, it added. The Orange Impact project seeks to support 15marginalised schools across the country with a suite of customised needs-based resource and facility upgrades over a three-year period. Mr Julian Opuni, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank,Ghana, stated that the sustainable finance pillar would see the Bank collaborating with customers and stakeholders to develop financing solutions that would drive economic growth, while safeguard the environment and promote social progress. On the sustainable operations pillar, he explainedthat they aimed to reduce their carbon footprint and incorporate gender diversity into their operations, lending, and credit management practices. On the CSR front, the Bank would support economic empowerment for target groups and increase access to quality education by providing learning, teaching materials, and improving infrastructure, he added. Mr. Opuni also highlighted some major strides the Bank had already made in the CSR and renewable energy space. This included the installment of solar energy at their newly opened Kaneshie Branch and the construction of a six-unit classroom block at theDuose D/A Primary School in Duose, Upper West Region. Mr Opuni noted that notwithstanding the macro-economic volatilities that confronted the banking sector in 2022, the Bank proved resilient. It recorded a 29 per cent increase in operating income, as well as a decline in the Bank’s cost to income ratio from 49 per cent in 2021 to 46 per cent in 2022. The Bank also recorded a 22 per cent increase in customer deposits, which grew to GHS 10.06 billion, and a 20 per cent growth in loans and advances. The Bank’s capital adequacy ratio of 16 per cent wasalso significantly above regulatory and prudential requirements. Mr. James Reynolds Baiden, newly-appointed board Chairperson of the Bank, whose appointment was ratified during the AGM, noted that the Bank was already on the upswing and had registered a profit of more than GHS150 million in the first quarter of 2023. This development, he said, augured well for the performance of the Bank in the ensuing year. Mr. Baiden assured shareholders and customers that the Board, Management, and Staff of the Bank were working assiduously to fully restore the Bank to its upward trajectory on all performance benchmarks.
Source: Ghana News Agency