GN Bank Still a Licensed Financial Institution

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GN Bank, one of the companies of the Groupe Nduom group of companies has assured its customers that the Bank remains “Ghanaian, With A National Retail Network, To Promote Financial Inclusion.”

In a statement singed by Head of GN Corporate Affairs, Mr. Frank Owusu-Ofori, the bank assured its customers that “our doors will remain open for business as usual in January, 2019 and beyond” adding that the bank’s “immediate objective is to find the liquidity needed to service the needs of our customers.”

Savings and Loans Company
The Bank of Ghana has downgraded GN Bank to a savings and loans company.

This was after the central bank finished what it describes as the banking resolution requiring each commercial bank operating in the country to have a minimum capital of ¢400 million.
At a news conference in Accra Friday, BoG Governor Dr Ernest Addison said Vish Ashiagbor of the international audit firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers has been appointed an advisor for GN Bank to ensure a smooth transition to a micro-finance company.

The central bank gave the banks up to 31st December 2018 to resuscitate their capital base but at the end of the grace period only 23 out of 34 were able to recapitalize.

Deliberate Downgrade
In the statement, the management of GN Bank said they deliberately opted for a downgrade to a savings and loans company in order not to sell the bank to people with foreign interests. “It is necessary for us to also point out that in the process of looking for additional capital; we made a conscious decision not to sell our bank to mostly foreign interests. These investors wanted the retail network we have built, but with the intention to abandon our vision of promoting financial inclusion and serving the needs of ordinary Ghanaians. We have been honest about who we are – a Main Street Bank and not a High Street Bank.” The bank said.

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Below is the statement issued by the management of the bank
“GN Bank Will Remain Ghanaian, With A National Retail Network, To Promote Financial Inclusion.”

The Shareholders, Directors and Management of GN Bank wish to inform our cherished customers and the general public that we have elected to continue our operations as a Savings & Loan Institution. This means that our doors will remain open for business as usual in January, 2019 and beyond. We have started the transition process. Our immediate objective is to find the liquidity needed to service the needs of our customers.

This means that as a licensed deposit taking institution, customer funds remain safe with us. The decision allows us to concentrate on ensuring maximum liquidity to sustain the business, instead of raising funds for additional capital as a universal bank. We operated in the recent past successfully as a Savings and Loan Company for eight years, so we can assure our customers that with our attention back to managing the business, instead of combing the world for additional capital, we are poised to deliver products and services beyond excellence.

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It is necessary for us to also point out that in the process of looking for additional capital; we made a conscious decision not to sell our bank to mostly foreign interests. These investors wanted the retail network we have built, but with the intention to abandon our vision of promoting financial inclusion and serving the needs of ordinary Ghanaians. We have been honest about who we are – a Main Street Bank and not a High Street Bank.

We formed the company and started looking for a license in 1997 to create a national bank for all Ghanaians wherever they may live, capable of ensuring financial inclusion and bringing the unbanked into the formal sector. It took the founding shareholder, Coconut Grove Beach Resort, nine years and a lot of effort, to obtain a license from the Bank of Ghana on May 8, 2006 to operate as a Savings and Loan Company under the brand name, First National Savings & Loans Company Limited. Coconut Grove was joined by another Ghanaian shareholder, BB Acquisitions. Other shareholders have subsequently invested in the company.

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Our financial institution has two intertwined branches – traditional banking and Micro-Enterprise business. The power of the two makes us unique and special. It took hard work to be where we are, with 1.2 million customers and 20% of the Ghanaian banking retail outlets in Ghana

We invested heavily in opening offices in all the ten regions of Ghana. When we opened our doors, the unbanked population was 80%. Today, it has fallen to 55%. Our continued existence will ensure that the percent of the population that is unbanked will reduce further.

From the very beginning, Our Vision has been, “To be a truly National Bank for the Ordinary person namely; Farmers, Professionals, Students, Workers, and Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs in Ghana.”

We will continue to be a financial institution with a difference – go where others are not willing to go, to bring banking to people currently excluded from the formal banking sector throughout the country.

Signed

Frank Owusu-Ofori

Head, GN Corporate Affairs

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