‘Databank is not involved in any form of consolidation with any universal bank’

Databank has moved to assure its clients and the investment public that it is not involved with any move to merge or consolidate with any universal bank in the country, but is rather working with those universal banks to offer better services to its growing clients.

With the central bank currently undertaking a clean-up of the banking sector, which has seen the revocation of universal banking licences from seven banks, some clients of Databank bank have misconstrued its relationship with universal banks as part of the Bank of Ghana’s clean-up exercise.

In a statement signed by Group CEO, Kojo Addae-Mensah, to assuage the fears of clients, the investment bank noted that it is rather working hand in hand with universal banks in strategic relationships and partnerships to offer more services to clients across the country.

The investment bank, which is licenced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and not the Bank of Ghana (BoG), noted that clients should not see its partnerships and relationships with universal banks affected in any way by the ongoing clean-up of the banking sector.

“We wish to inform the general public and our esteemed customers that Databank is not a commercial bank, and is therefore not part of the ongoing sanitisation exercise taking place within the banking industry,” he said.

Mr. Addae-Mensah assured that Databank’s mission is to help Ghanaians achieve financial independence, and he believes to accomplish this mission the investment bank must make investing easy and accessible to all.

“The relationships we have with our partner banks are therefore complementary ones, with a single goal of helping Ghanaians invest toward their future. We wish to therefore allay any concerns that the investing public, general public and our esteemed customers may have about the implications of our partnerships with the various universal banks.

“It is in no way a consolidation or a signal that Databank is merging with any commercial bank. That is not a part of our strategic vision currently. Our goal is to focus on our core mandate of providing investment solutions to Ghanaians,” he assured.

He explained that due to Databank’s operational scope, the bank has three relationships with universal banks. These include a custody bank, collection bank and partner-location bank.

With custody banks, Databank works with Standard Chartered, Guaranty Trust (GT) and Stanbic banks. By law (Section 72, Act 929 and Regulations 69, LI 1695), the investments that are deposited with an investment firm (e.g., Databank) must be held with a commercial bank, which will act in the capacity of a custodian and is independent of the investment firm.

“This is to ensure that client funds are not co-mingled with operational funds of the fund manager. When the investment firm (Databank) needs to make an investment on behalf of its clients, instructions are sent to the custodian for transferal of funds to the said investment.

“In this regard, Databank began its custody relationship with Barclays Bank in 1996 – and currently has custody relationships with Standard Chartered Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Stanbic Bank,” he noted.

When it comes to the collection bank, Databank – in a bid to serve its clients better and make it more convenient for them to invest – has also entered into a collection relationship with a number of commercial banks that enables clients to walk into any of these partner bank branches and deposit into their Databank mutual fund accounts.

“We have such partnerships with Access, Barclays, GCB, GTBank, Fidelity, Standard Chartered, UBA, and Zenith banks. Through these partnerships, Databank’s clients have access to over 470 bank branches across the 10 regions of Ghana through which they can top-up their investments,” he added.

For the partner-location bank, Databank has formed a strategic partnership with GT Bank since 2015 – whereby licenced Databank staff are located in a number of GT Bank branches across Ghana to allow clients to open investment accounts onsite.

“Through this partnership, clients can find Databank staff in 10 GT Bank branches in cities like Accra, Ashaiman, Cape Coast, Tamale and Tarkwa, as well as the UBA branch on the KNUST campus. We encourage you to top-up your investments at any branch of our partner banks. There are over 470 branches to choose from,” he pointed out.