Accra, May 6, GNA – Societe Generale Ghana says it would step up its investment in the economy despite the current challenges.
Mr Gilbert Hie, the Managing Director of Societe Generale (SG) Ghana Limited, said the bank’s commitment was a sign of confidence that the country would overcome the temporary economic difficulties.
Mr Hie said this when the bank took its turn at the Ghana Stock Exchange’s Facts behind the Figures programme in Accra on Tuesday.
He said the bank’s reaction to the challenging and competitive environment was to shore up its stated capital to GH¢100 million through a bonus issue this year and also to introduce innovative products to attract customers.
The bank has also got a subordinated loan of GH¢80 million to enhance its tier-two capital.
Mr Hie said the increased capital would enable the bank to do high volume and big ticket deals while continuous innovation and introduction of new products would help in the diversifying of risks.
He said Societe Generale was working to obtain approval from the National Insurance Commission and Bank of Ghana to start Bancassurance life with Prudential Insurance.
Already, the bank has launched two insurance products under general insurance in collaboration with Allianz Insurance Company.
Mr Hie said the bank was venturing into insurance to diversify its commercial portfolio to help increase its market share in the competitive banking environment.
On high interest rates, Mr Hie said the country would stay with high interest rates for the next two years as banks and government competed for funds from the general public amidst high treasury bill rates.
Treasury bill rates are hovering around 25 per cent and Mr Hie said many investors would prefer to put their money in the risk-free instrument rather than putting them in the banks.
He said a rise in the rate of inflation must be checked as it was another factor in the determination of interest rates and cost of funds.
Meanwhile, the bank’s net profit was GH¢49.811 million, representing an increment of 37.0 per cent over 36.364 million in 2013.
Going forward, Mr Hie said SG Ghana would open three additional branches to grow more deposits and to make the banks services more accessible to clients.
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