Fidelity Bank, Ghana’s largest privately-owned indigenous bank, has committed to embarking on an expanded and ambitious sustainability and social impact strategy that focuses on three pillars: sustainable finance, sustainable operations, and corporate social responsibility.
In line with this ambition, the bank has set up a fully-fledged Partnerships, Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility department to drive this agenda. The new department is to work collaboratively with all other departments of the business to integrate sustainability principles across all the Bank’s activities and operations. This 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.
The Sustainability vision of the Bank is 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 listed as part of this wide-reaching Sustainability and Social Impact plan is the Bank’s flagship CSR intervention dubbed Orange Impact which is already underway. The Orange Impact project seeks to support fifteen marginalised schools across the country with a suite of customized needs-based resource and facility upgrades over a 3-year period.
This came to light at the Bank’s recent virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held on Friday May 26, 2023. The meeting gave shareholders the opportunity to consider and adopt the report of the directors for the fiscal year ended 31st December 2022.
Addressing shareholders during the virtual AGM, the immediate past Board Chairman of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Edward Effah reiterated the Bank’s renewed focus on ESG as an integral imperative of its overarching business strategy., “As a financial institution, we are acutely aware of our role in ensuring a sustainable future for our planet, communities, and economy. We have begun integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concepts into all aspects of our operations after making significant strides in our sustainability journey over the last year. We have also ensured that, our strategy aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Furthermore, we acknowledge that sustainability is an ongoing process, and we are dedicated to continuously enhancing our sustainability practices and positively impacting the environment around us.
Speaking on the three pillars of the bank’s sustainability agenda, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Julian Opuni stated that, “the sustainable finance pillar will see the bank collaborating with customers and stakeholders to develop financing solutions that drive economic growth while safeguarding the environment and promoting social progress. On the sustainable operations pillar, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint and incorporate gender diversity into our operations, lending, and credit management practices. On the CSR front the bank will support economic empowerment for target groups and increase access to quality education by providing learning, teaching materials, and improving infrastructure.”
Mr. Opuni also highlighted some major strides the Bank has already made in the CSR and renewable energy space. “In 2022, the bank installed solar energy at our newly opened Kaneshie Branch, and this is in line with our initiative to deploy renewable energy across all Fidelity Bank locations.”
He added, “In November 2022, the bank began the construction of a six-unit classroom block for the Duose D/A Primary School in Duose, Upper West Region. Many students were learning under trees or in dilapidated structures that posed a threat to them. I am happy to report that by mid-June 2023, we will be handing over the new six-unit school building to the people of Duose D/A Primary School. This is the first of many such undertakings that we will be finalizing throughout the course of the next three years.”
On the bank’s fiscal performance, the Managing Director, reported that notwithstanding the macro-economic volatilities that confronted the banking sector in 2022, the bank proved resilient and recorded a 29% increase in operating income as well as a decline in the Bank’s cost to income ratio from 49% in 2021 to 46% in 2022. The bank also recorded a 22% increase in customer deposits which grew to GH¢ 10.06 billion, and a 20% growth in loans and advances. He noted that the Bank’s capital adequacy ratio of 16% is significantly above regulatory and prudential requirements; a clear indicator that Fidelity Bank is solvent.”
The newly appointed Board Chairman of Fidelity Bank, Mr. James Reynolds Baiden whose appointment was ratified during the AGM, noted that the Bank is already on the upswing and has registered a profit of over GHS150 million in the first quarter of 2023. He averred that this development augurs well for the performance of the Bank in the ensuing year. Mr. Baiden further assured shareholders and customers that the board, management, and staff of the Bank are working assiduously to fully restore the Bank to its upward trajectory on all performance benchmarks. He added, “I must also reiterate that based on the foregoing reports, there is no iota of doubt that Fidelity has once again weathered the storm and bounced back stronger. Our customers can rest assured that their funds are safe with us, and I urge them to continue enjoying the best Banking experience in Ghana via our various branches, agencies, and digital platforms.”