Omnibank, Sahel merger on course

Omnibank Ghana Limited and Sahel Sahara Bank (BSIC) Ghana Limited have announced they are on course with their plan to merge into one strong financial entity that will offer the needed support toward growth of the country’s private sector.

Following the Bank of Ghana’s acceptance of the merger on August 14, 2018; the two banks have since signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to govern their intention of merging. They have also commenced the process to meet all requirements for final approval by the central bank.

According to shareholders, directors and management of the two banks, the decision to merge was due to a number of reasons; including similarities in business model, balance sheets and the fact that two banks have never received liquidity support from the central bank.

According to the two banks, the merger when finally completed will position the new entity as “a major player in the banking industry to support private sector growth and Ghana’s development agenda”.

A statement copied to the B&FT indicated: “The two banks are of similar balance sheet sizes and similar business models, and would like to continue serving the small and medium enterprises (SME) market due to the huge potential and impact on the economy of Ghana.

“The merger will create a bigger bank with the capacity to manage the opportunities and risks thereof.”

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The combined entity will have 46 branches spread across the country to improve service delivery for over 150,000 customers. Together, they have a total asset size of GH¢1.22billion and permanent staff strength of 614.

According to the statement, the two banks have maintained and published unqualified audited financial statements as required by the Bank of Ghana, and have Capital Adequacy Ratios (CAR) above the BOG’s minimum requirement of 10%.

“In support of the merger, existing and potential shareholders have shown commitment to increase capital to fill the shortfall in the new Minimum Capital Requirement of GH¢400million before the 31st December 2018 deadline.

“The banks have also agreed to ensure there will be no job-losses for permanent staff due to the merger,” the statement read.

The banks commended their cherished customers and all other stakeholders for their support and cooperation, and assured them of their commitment to support the Bank of Ghana in its quest to ensure stability, confidence and growth in the banking sector.

OmniBank is a Ghanaian-owned bank that started in 1989 as a Savings and Loans Company with focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Since becoming a bank in July 2016, it has provided finance for a wide range of sectors including trade, manufacturing, construction and services, as well as private individuals and institutions.

OmniBank Ghana prides itself on its excellent customer service and provides products and services tailored to its clients’ needs.

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Today, OmniBank serves about 125,000 clients via its 29-branch network and 25 ATMs across the country. As of 30 June 2018, OmniBank had a total asset size of GH¢603million. The total loan volume was GH¢223million against customer deposits of GH¢447million. The company employs about 352 permanent staff

As a subsidiary of BSIC Group, BSIC (Ghana) Limited started its operations as a licenced universal bank under the trading name ‘Sahel-Sahara Bank’ on 25th March 2008. The BSIC Group itself has a stated capital of €500m.

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 group neither pays nor repatriates dividends, but rather uses any profits so accrued for development of the economy in which the bank is resident.

The Group aims to mobilize financial resources from all over the world and channel them into the productive sectors in economies of member-states.

Today, BSIC Ghana serves about 30,000 customers via its 17-branch network and 17 ATMs across Ghana. As of 30th June 2018, BSIC Ghana had a total asset size of GH¢623million. The total loan volume was GH¢286million against customer deposits of GH¢477million. The bank employs 262 permanent staff.

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