BANK OF AFRICA’s wholehearted commitment to its stakeholders is best illustrated by the exemplary manner in which it has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Moroccan government, as instructed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, has introduced strong and rapid measures in response to this unprecedented situation and its consequences.
As one of Morocco’s ma jor banking groups, BANK OF AFRICA’s response to the national emergency has been robust, contributing MAD 1 billion to the special fund set up to manage the pandemic. Targeted support has been provided to the domestic economy, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, with more than MAD 14 billion of additional funding set aside, specific measures adopted, and products adapted to meet the needs of our customers.
As well as implementing exceptional measures to protect our employees and customers, we activated a business continuity plan so as to mitigate the impact from the crisis on our various businesses.
BANK OF AFRICA has demonstrated a high level of resilience, a solid business model and sound strategic choices.
We continued to grow our business in 2020 with outstanding consolidated loans up 4% at MAD 194 billion. Customer savings also held up well with total consolidated deposits up 2% at MAD 207 billion at 31 December 2020. This strong performance in terms of loan and deposit growth was reflected in BANK OF AFRICA’s operational performance, with consolidated net banking income up 1% at MAD 14 billion.
BANK OF AFRICA’s reputation as a pioneer in digital banking, a catalyst for financial and social inclusion, and a banking group which is resolutely turned towards the future, was further enhanced in 2020 with the introduction of new scalable remote banking services. Our personal, professional and corporate banking customers, both in Morocco and in African countries, benefited from having a variety of channels available to them to be able to carry out their day-to-day banking transactions. An extensive range of straightforward, flexible and innovative solutions is now available, in a context in which remote banking services have become vital.
Longer term, post-COVID, banks will be required to adapt their business model.
Whereas the challenges of sustainable development and social responsibility were once a simple aspiration, they are now a global priority. Very early on, BANK OF AFRICA made a conscious decision to incorporate such considerations within its development strategy and prioritise them, becoming the first African signatory to the UNEP FI’s Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development and adopting the UN’s Principles for Responsible Banking. We are now fully committed to helping our customers and our institutional partners meet the future challenges of our African continent by funding growth, social inclusion and sustainable economic development.
In this regard, the Intelaka Programme launched by His Majesty Mohammed VI promoting entrepreneurship is a blueprint for banks when it comes to engaging with entrepreneurs and those youngsters wanting to set up a business, by providing not only financial but also non-financial support.
2020 was clearly a year in which BANK OF AFRICA delivered a strong performance across a wide range of businesses, demonstrating its solid fundamentals, a constantly improving environmental footprint and a positive social impact with regard to its stakeholders.
Our goal, which drives the daily actions of BANK OF AFRICA’s entire staff, remains unchanged, which is to enhance the African continent’s reputation and ensure that it emerges as a leader in sustainable development and positive impact finance.