Stanbic Bank has indicated its preparedness to acquire another bank as a growth strategy.
The Head of Corporate and Investment Banking of Stanbic bank, Kwamina Asomaning disclosed to JoyBusiness on the sidelines of the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra, on the theme: "Liquidity and Solvency Management-Boosting the Health of the Banking sector in Ghana" held in Accra.
The meeting brought together players in both the banking and financial industry.
Mr Asomaning described the move as part of plans to grow the bank and make it a dominant player in the banking industry, “We are ambitious. We would like to achieve much greater scale than we have at the moment and in pursuing that growth we are open to considering both growths by acquisition and organic growth.
In deciding whether we acquire another business or grow organically we have got to be clear in our minds what we are buying, we have got to understand whether we are buying customers, which type of customers we are buying, which type of assets as in loan assets or investment securities.”
He, however, said that currently no bank has met its suitability criteria but the bank will keep its eyes on the market for such growth opportunities.
Stanbic Bank is part of the Standard Bank Group which as of December 2017, is the largest bank in Africa by assets. They have been operating for 155 years, are present and operate in 20 African countries and employ 55,000 people.
Meeting new minimum capital requirement
He also stated that Stanbic Bank has already met the minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million through a capitalization of their retained earnings and that the decision to remain open to acquiring or merging with another bank was one based on the bank’s ambition to grow in the banking space.
He stated that if such a move was to be considered it will have to fit the broader objectives or criteria of the bank.
Views on the Minimum capital requirement
He also described the GH¢400 million minimum capital requirement as a right move by the Bank of Ghana for the industry.
Mr Asomaning noted that “The Central Bank has more information at its disposal than we do. They’ve assessed the risks in the economy and the risks that exist within the banks in arriving at that number”.
In my view, “ I don’t think we should focus on the number, as much as we should focus on what the number seeks to achieve.”
STANBIC on the Ghana Reference Rate (GRR)
He also described the Ghana reference rate as a stepping stone to more stable and efficient lending rates in the country, despite it having some challenges. He described it as an improvement over the old base rate model which in his opinion was fraught with a number of challenges.
Mr Asomaning described the GRR as bringing some level of transparency in lending rates in the economy as it will better inform customers and bring some uniformity in lending rates.