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Union Trust Bank loses market share
By Our Financial Analyst
Jul 19, 2005, 12:12
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A very recent report by the prestigious Databank Financial Services Ltd. has revealed that the Union Trust Bank of Sierra Leone lost a significant portion of its market share of the overall profits made by Sierra Leonean Commercial Banks in the year 2004.

The report which can now be found all over the Internet, gave a very comprehensive analysis of key economic developments in Sierra Leone. It stated that there are currently six commercial banks in the country with Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB) and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) listed as the industry leaders. Total assets of the banking industry are stated as equivalent to 17% of GDP.

However the table listing down the Commercial Banks Market Shares clearly indicates that Union Trust Bank suffered a very significant loss of its previous hold on the Market Share of PROFITS when a comparison was done between 2003 and 2004 Financial Indices.

The statistics however would seem to indicate that Guarantee Trust Bank was the beneficiary of this loss of Market Share by the Union Trust Bank as the exact percentage of loss of Market Share of profits suffered by the Union Trust Bank was the exact percentage of gain shown by the Guarantee Trust Bank during the comparison of the two years.

Similarly, drops in the market share of profits for SCB and RCB were seen as gains for the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank. However, according to Databank figures, despite these gains in 2004, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank is still trailing far behind the SCB and the RCB in terms of actual market share of profits in the sector.

Notwithstanding the reduction in its market share of local banking profits by the Union Trust Bank, the overall outlook of the local banking industry was stated as being very positive for the sector overall. The banks are generally adequately capitalised as they have been meeting the most important prudential requirements. On a risk-weighted basis for instance, banks capitalisation was stated as having improved somewhat consistently from 25% in 2000 to 37% as of June last year. The industrys liquid assets/ deposits ratio is also listed as being healthy at 76% as of midyear 2004.

What was however not very clear was whether the removal of Mr. Sanpha Koroma as Bank Governor in 2003 had anything to do with this significant loss of market share of profits by the Union Trust Bank in 2004. Attempts to get a representative of the Union Trust Bank yesterday were futile as they were all said to be sequestered in several urgent meetings.

Click the Link below for the Full Report entitled
"ANALYSIS OF KEY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS IN SIERRA LEONE - By Frank Dewotor - July 2005" which can then be downloaded directly from the Databank website.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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