Business News of Saturday, 7 October 2017
The Bank of Ghana is hoping to see mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector, with the increment in stated capital of banks going from GH¢120million to GH¢400million and a deadline of December, 2018.
“We encourage banks to explore merger arrangements as early as possible, so as to meet the deadline, where there are challenges of raising the capital single-handedly,” Edmund Salami Nelson, Director of Banking Supervision Department, Bank of Ghana, has said.
Speaking at the official unveiling of the head office of FBNBank Ghana in Accra, Mr. Nelson noted that the importance of a well-capitalised banking sector cannot be overemphasised; hence the regulator’s intermittent review of the minimum capital requirements of banks to protect depositor’s funds.
Ghana’s economy, according to him, is rebounding; hence the banking sector should be well-positioned to support the economy’s growth potential. He explained that under the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), the discretionary powers of the Bank of Ghana to grant single obligor waivers to enable banks undertake big-ticket transactions in excess of their single obligor limit has been extinguished.
“It is in light of this and other factors, he said, that the Bank of Ghana has increased the minimum capital of banks to GH¢400million. Banks have up to December 2018 to comply with the new capital requirement as well and submit a capitalisation plan to the Bank of Ghana,” he added.
He congratulated FBNBank Ghana on the huge investment made into a new head office, which he said creates a more conducive environment for bringing enhanced services to the doorsteps of its esteemed customers.
New corporate head office
Managing Director of FBNBank Ghana, Gbenga Odeyemi, said since 2015 the bank has been coordinating its head office operations from separate locations, therefore the new facility seeks to improve brand visibility and deepen financial inclusion in the country.
“The new head office building, beyond projecting a modern corporate image for the FBNBank Ghana brand, is a symbol of the golden standard we are offering to our customers and everyone.
“This only points to one thing: FBNBank Ghana is here to stay, to meet the holistic needs of our stakeholders through innovative banking, and with a long-term vision to be the clear leader and Ghana’s bank of first choice,” he said.
Mr. Odeyemi said it is important for banks to continually strive for innovation in their financial offerings to ensure customer satisfaction and superior customer experience. According to him, FBNBank Ghana has positioned itself well to lead the way in customer service delivery, a distinguishing factor in modern banking.
“For us at FBNBank Ghana, the way our customers are treated is more than a warm, smiling, friendly face in our branches, or more than a queue-less banking hall. It’s about exceeding customer expectations. It’s about creative ideas powered by technology to meet the customer’s complex needs in an efficient manner. This is what we mean by putting you, our customer, first,” he said.
He also used the occasion to announce the bank’s ongoing savings promotion. Dubbed the ‘FBNBank Ghana Save and Win promo’, the promotion (which runs from September to December 2017) is meant to inculcate the culture of saving among Ghanaians, as well as reward both existing and potential customers with amazing and delightful prizes.
Remarks by Parent Bank
Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan, MD/CEO, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited and subsidiaries, in his remarks said: “The opening of a new head office and branch is clear testament to our long-term commitment and pledge to deliver innovative banking, powered by superior customer experiences first to our customers and then the banking sector as a whole.”
Dr. Adeduntan applauded the central bank’s resolve to raising the bar in minimum capital requirement for banks in Ghana, particularly in the wake of the recent collapse of UT Bank and Capital Bank.
He gave the assurance that FBNBank Ghana is in the best of position to meet the target, saying: “When your parent bank is the largest bank in Africa’s second-largest economy, you have no fears!”
Ministry of Finance
Delivering a short message on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, Alex Amankwa Poku lauded FBNBank Ghana for acquiring the new head office, saying it is a great feat worth celebrating.
He urged the bank’s management and staff to leverage new possibilities the facility will present, while calling on them to ‘rethink, reform and reinvent’ their operations to align with their vision.