By Peter Sourie – August 1st 2019
The Rokel Commercial Bank has continued with its impressive performance following its remarkable transformation from a loss making to a profit-making financial institution.
A just published 2018 annual report and audited financial statements show the bank netted a staggering Le66 Billion profit after tax-representing a 30% increase from its 2017 Le52 Billion profit (after tax). The report also shows a Le79 Billion profit (before tax), leapfrogging the Le62 Billion it made in 2017.
Between 2014 and 2016, the Bank’s profit margins were considerably lesser. In 2014, it netted Le25Bn but there was a downward spiral in 2015 and 2016 when the bank was only able to make a little over Le1Bn in profits. Things considerably changed following the appointment of a new Managing Director, Dr. Dayo Gilpin and a supportive Board of Directors which brought in the creativity needed to rebrand and reposition the bank into a profit-making institution.
Amid a challenging business climate and stiff competition occasioned by the presence of several foreign owned banks in Sierra Leone, the bank for the first time in over fifteen years is gearing up to pay dividend to the government of Sierra Leone which owns around 55% shares in the bank.
Rokel Commercial Bank has remained a champion of financial inclusion – reaching out to the country’s unbanked population in the most ingenious ways. This has invariably promoted public goodwill and increased its depositors’ base with bigger customers streaming in to do business with the bank. According to the report, customer deposits increased from Le770 Billion in 2017 and 873 Billion in 2018.
The increase in profit has also come on the back of a massive expansion drive by the bank as seen in the establishment and revival of branches or mobile outlets across the country. The revolutionary mobile based product, Rokel Simkorpor is set to become a game changer and with the rolling out of several other innovative products, it is apparent that the bank can only consolidate it gains in the coming years. Rokel Simkorpor has been a key feature in the bank’s expansion drive and so far, the public is teeming for it.