Databank has said it is ready to ‘recapitalise’ following an expected increment in stated capital for investment banks by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Its CEO, Kojo Addae-Mensah, told a forum where the bank’s customers and investors were sensitised on investment that: “We are aware of plans by our regulator to announce a new minimum capital requirement for the various sectors within the investment banking industry, and we are ready to recapitalise,” he said.
Speaking about the need for the forum, he said: “Lack of knowledge is the greatest challenge to our banking sector, and educating the public is key to investment growth”.
The event, which came off at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s new head office, was aimed at erasing public perception that Databank is a bank for the elite or upper-class, and get ordinary market-women to also start thinking about investing with it.
Databank has five products or funds: namely Mfund, Arkfund, Bfund, Edifund and Epack. These are both short- and long-term investment plans that investors can sign up to, based on their specific requirements.
Mr. Addae-Mensah further indicated that the collapse of Menzgold and its operations has affected investment at Databank as a result of some clients withdrawing their money to settle financial issues, since part of their investment got locked up at Menzgold.
“We have clients who are also clients of Menzgold and other companies as well. So, when they cannot get those monies they look at where else they have investment, and then come to Databank. We realised a shooting-up of withdrawals, but it was for a short period.
“The reason why Databank is not going down the lane of those other investment banks is because of our good corporate governance structure.
“All our five funds have five different independent boards, and I am the only Executive Director on the boards. Also, board members who are shareholders are not going to allow management to use their money to buy luxurious cars or whatever they want,” he said.
The about-150 clients of the organisation present at the event asked various questions ranging from risk levels, viability of investment, regulators efficiency, good corporate governance practices, investment prospects; and whether or not the organisation owned by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is engaged in any political scuffle, among others.
Conceding the fact that public confidence in the investment and banking sector has fallen, he encouraged investors to go to the regulator to ask questions and seek information from SEC on the status or legality of particular institutions before investing their funds with them.