The Managing Director-GCB Bank PLC, Kofi Adomakoh, has announced that the bank is planning to raise GH¢1billion from the capital market to bolster its capital, following the approval of its shareholders.
The move, he explains, is necessitated by the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) that eroded the state-owned lenders’ capital.
Speaking during the bank’s 70th-anniversary launch in Accra, he emphasised that this capital injection will enable GCB to maintain its commitment to supporting indigenous businesses, aligning with its mandate and ensuring effective operations.
“As we reflect on the challenges Ghana has encountered over the past 70 years, GCB Bank has been there on every step of the journey providing stability and support. Undoubtedly, the DDEP has had a profound impact on GCB Bank, and though there are signs of an early recovery -evidenced by the first-half results – aftershocks of the DDEP remain fairly strong and GCB is taking the necessary measures to minimise adverse impacts. We remain hopeful and optimistic about the recovery of the sector, given the results posted so far,” he stated.
Expanding to Africa
Mr. Adomakoh also expressed the bank’s firm determination to expand its operations across the continent, which he explains means revisiting the bank’s strategy of venturing beyond Ghana’s borders – referencing its past expansions into the United Kingdom and the Republic of Togo in 1959 and 1971 respectively.
“As we follow the footprints of our African champions underpinned with our one market agenda for the continent, GCB will have to revisit its strategy of sojourning beyond the shores of Ghana as we did in the UK and Republic of Togo in 1959 and 1971 respectively,” he said.
According to him, as the bank progresses toward a century of banking excellence, pursuing a regional and pan-African bank role will significantly enhance its digital agenda – guaranteeing unparalleled services for both communities and retail clients.“We will compete at all levels of banking and win in all our chosen markets because we are authentically Ghanaian and understand our people’s needs best. For it is just a matter of time and Africa will be left for Africans to build, operate and own and not transfer, and GCB must be at the helm of affairs,” he stated.
Seventy years of unrivalled financial solutions
In 1951, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah – serving as the Head of Government Business in the Gold Coast, having recognised the challenges encountered by indigenous businesses in accessing banking services from the existing colonial banks, established the Bank of Gold Coast… now GCB Bank.
The Bank of Gold Coast therefore started operations on May 20, 1953, under the Bank of Gold Coast Ordinance mandate.
“This was at a time when plans were underway for placing the Gold Coast on the global political map, so our forefathers also thought about placing this country on the economic map by spearheading the agenda for setting up a bank that would rival the existing colonial banks,” Mr. Adomakoh said during the anniversary launch themed ‘70 years of providing unrivalled solutions toward the socio-economic development of Ghana.
“Let me, therefore, thank our forefathers and the founding board and management for nurturing this seed which has evolved into the GCB Bank PLC after 70 bold years of providing unrivalled financial solutions toward the socio-economic development of Ghana,” he added.
Born as a Ghanaian bank for the people and led by Ghanaians with a single-minded purpose to economically and financially liberate Ghanaians and individual businesses, Mr. Adomakoh emphasised that the bank in the last seven decades did just that – promoting state institutions, industries and the private sector, from the cocoa industry to the oil and gas sector.
“GCB has shown great character and resilience. We have many times stepped up to the plate and intervened in the banking sector during many critical situations to help sustain our economy when it mattered most; and we have grown the private sector, particularly in the Industry, Agriculture and Services sectors,” he said.
Ghana’s most welcoming bank
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who attended the anniversary launch, lauded the bank for staying true to its mission of becoming the leading bank in the country offering first-class banking solutions through unwavering dedication and commitment to Ghanaians from all demographics.
“GCB Bank has rightly earned its place as Ghana’s most welcoming bank and an indigenous bank with the requisite empathy required to serve our people. Through this remarkable 70-year journey, GCB Bank has constantly evolved and innovated to remain at the banking industry’s forefront,” he stated.
He said the bank’s success over the years is built on a strong service proposition: including a robust asset base, competitive pricing, extensive branch networks and “a deep understanding of the Ghanaian and private sector needs”.
“These distinctions highlight the bank’s unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of governance and compliance. So, as our own bank, let’s continue to support it and talk positively into it,” he said, urging the bank to continue innovating and adapting to the digital age in order to remain a leader in the industry.
Proven track record
The bank at the onset was wholly government-owned until 1996 when under the economic recovery programme part of the government ownership was divested. It has grown to a network of over 186 branches across all 16 regions of the country from seven branches in 1960.
“This expansive reach is a testament to our relentless commitment and determination to fulfil the banking needs of Ghana’s people and lead the development of our country as the foremost and largest indigenous bank,” said the bank’s Board Chair, Jude Arthur.
He added: “We have a proven track record of delivering convenient, accessible, superior and customised banking solutions, as well as strong profits and returns to our shareholders”.
Over the last seven decades, he said, GCB Bank PLC has delivered strong growth and a sterling track record of creating value for its shareholders – with its competitive position continually improving as it remains a leading bank with significant potential for further profitable and sustainable growth.
“Throughout the bank’s history, our resilience has been tested through the various challenges we faced; and we have always emerged stronger thanks to the trust and loyalty of our customers and the support of our shareholders. Our stability and resilience have been the cornerstone of our success, allowing us to deliver exceptional value to our shareholders and all stakeholders,” he said.