Snippets of information picked up by Joy News indicate that two indigenous banks, GN Bank and Premium Bank are set to complete their merger processes by close of 31st December 2018.
A source at the Central Bank disclosed that, “BoG has in principle agreed to the merger talks of GN Bank and Premium Bank and the two banks are forging forward with their plans to complete the process before the deadline,’’ the source disclosed.
Apart from the fact that the merger will help the two indigenous financial institutions meet the required minimum capital of Ghȼ 400 million, it is also meant to improve the banks’ operations helping them offer better services to their customers.
The two banks have been working on the modalities to merge as has been widely reported by the media and it is believed that BoG gave their blessings and asked the banks to submit the requisite papers to receive approval from the regulator.
This week, the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced that the National Investment Bank (NIB) and Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) will merge by 31st December in order to raise the required minimum capital of Ghȼ 400 million.
Omni Bank and Sahel Sahara Bank earlier this year received approval from the BoG to finalise their merger. It is also thought that UMB, Heritage Bank and Prudential Bank are feverishly working on a modality that will see them merge although there has not been any word in the public to that effect.
Should GN Bank and Premium be successful in their merger plans, they will be a strong force to reckon with considering the fact that GN Bank has over 300 locations nationwide and offers banking services to a larger group of the unbanked population.
Another positive to come out of this would be the financial muscle the merged bank will bring by boosting operations, considering the fact that, it would have met the Ghȼ 400 million minimum capital being demanded by the BoG.
The financial marriage between GN Bank and Premium seem to be certain, but what is not clear at this point is the name to be adopted for operations by the two banks.
Considering the size of GN Bank, it is believed the two banks will adopt the name for easy identification.
The Bank of Ghana has in recent times intimated that 20 banks were in the process of meeting the deadline of increasing their minimum capital from Ghȼ 120 million to Ghȼ 400 million.
At the same press briefing, the governor of the central bank, Dr. Ernest Addison intimated that they were also expecting other banks to be able to merge.