Business News of Monday, 17 July 2017
The Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) is to deploy technology-based solutions to drive financial inclusion and grow the bank for it to be among the top largest financial institutions in the country before its 50th anniversary.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr John Awuah, said the bank had already employed cutting-edge technology to support its product and service offerings.
“We will continue to invest heavily in technology. If you see us opening branches it is only five per cent of the investment because the next drive for the banking sector is technology,” Mr Awuah said in an interview with the Daily Graphic after the launch of the bank’s 45th anniversary celebrations in Accra.
He indicated that UMB had already leveraged on technology to ensure that more people, especially the unbanked, would get access to financial services across the country.
“The bank that fails to invest in technology will fail and UMB does not want to be part of the banks left behind in adopting technology,” he said.
“What we have noticed within the banking landscape over the period is that speed accelerates growth within the industry,” he said and added that speed differentiated the services of the banks within the financial landscape,” he said.
The CEO stated that “everything we do at UMB is to improve on our turn-around-time in order to serve the customer more efficiently because the interest of the customer fuels the growth of the business.”
He explained that in an era where the survival of a business was directly linked to the satisfaction of the customer, being able to meet and exceed the needs of a company’s clients through excellent customer service was very crucial to the growth of that business.
He said meeting and exceeding the customer’s expectation required that the company in question would identify and familiarises itself with the basic desires of the customer whose interest fueled the growth of the business.
Enhancing customer efficiency
As part of the anniversary, Mr Awuah said the bank would introduce new products and services with the aim of enhancing customer efficiency.
“Our plan is to retain our position as the premier corporate bank and regain growth in this area while expanding into the retail banking space,” he noted.
He said the bank would achieve its objective by expanding into the value chain of its corporate portfolio and combine with its commitment to provide excellent and convenient customer care.
The CEO stated the bank had already set up structures to ensure a successful achievement of its objectives.
Mr Awuah indicated that although the bank started its operations with a single branch, it could currently boast 31 branches and two UMB centres for businesses across the country.
Universal Merchant Bank opened its door to the public on March 15, 1972 as the first premier merchant bank in the country.