All things being equal, the merger between Sahel Sahara and Omni banks is expected to be completed by October 18 this year with the full GH¢400 million Minimum Capital Requirement.

This comes after the Bank of Ghana last month approved the proposed merger of the two banks with a caution that, the final approval will only be considered after all the necessary documentation has been submitted for review.

Even though the central bank is said to have given the two banks up to the end of December this year to submit all the necessary documentation on the merger and also meet the minimum capital requirement, the banks are optimistic to meet the regulator’s requirement two clear months ahead of schedule.

This is because Sahel Sahara bank last week received some $60 million support from their group, showing their commitment to fill the shortfall in meeting the Minimum Capital Requirement of GH₵400 million.

This leaves the new bank which is likely to be named OmniSahel with a shortfall of $25 million which JoyBusiness is learning will be met by close of this month.

With their Capital Adequacy Ratios (CAR) above the BOG’s minimum requirement of 10%, the two Banks have never received liquidity support from the central Bank.

Financials position

As of 30 June 2018, OmniBank had a total asset size of GH₵603 million cedis, with a total loan volume of GH₵223 million cedis against customer deposits of GH₵447 million cedis.

While Sahel Sahara also have a total asset size of GH₵623 million, a total loan volume of GH₵286 million cedis, and customer deposits of GH₵477 million which is a little above that of Omni bank.

When merged, the combined entity will have 46 branches, spread across the country with over 150,000 customers and total staff strength of 614 employees

No Layoffs

With the focus of the new entity still going to be on the SME market due to the huge potential and impact on the economy of Ghana, the two banks Joy Business is learning have agreed to ensure that there will be no job losses for permanent staff due to the merger.

Sahel Sahara a local Bank?

Sahel Sahara which is seen as a subsidiary of BSIC Group, BSIC (Ghana) Limited started its operations as a licensed universal bank, under the trading name 'Sahel-Sahara Bank' on 25th March 2008.

The BSIC Group is jointly and severally owned by fourteen (14) African countries including: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sudan and Togo.

The BSIC Group itself has a stated capital of €500 Million which was a donation from the then Libyan government led by Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi.

Ghana’s share and agreement to set up the bank was signed at a ceremony by the current President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was the Foreign Minister and the now Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo who was the Minister of Finance under the Kufour administration.

Per the arrangement or agreement, the Bank does not pay taxes to the government of Ghana, neither pays nor repatriates dividends to the group but rather uses any profits so accrued for the development of the economy in which the bank is resident.

The Group which is only an administrative supervisory body aims to mobilize financial resources from all over the world and channel them to the productive sectors of the economies of member states.

Today, BSIC Ghana serves about 30,000 customers via its 17 branch network and 17 ATMs across Ghana.

The bank employs 262 permanent staff.