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Africa’s best bank 2022: Ecobank Transnational

Ecobank Transnational ticks a lot of boxes. The Togo-headquartered bank is undeniably a true regional lender, with a presence in 33 sub-Saharan African markets, from the big (Nigeria, South Africa) to the tiny (São Tomé & Principe, Guinea-Bissau).

The bank called 2021 a transformational year, a designation it is hard to refute. Pre-tax profit rose 41.4% year on year to $478 million. It generated a record return on equity of 19% and on assets of 1.3%, with total assets up 6.3% to $2.16 billion.

And it started the new year in great shape. In the first quarter of 2022, the lender posted a net profit of $221.6 million, up 25% from the same period a year earlier.

The pandemic tested every African lender to the limit, and Ecobank was not found wanting. It emerges from this period of crisis – in which it donated millions of dollars to buy medical equipment, waived fees on interbank transfers and raised daily limits on mobile banking – in robust shape with a record-low efficiency ratio of 58.9%.

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