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Ghana is AfCFTA Hqs. because its ‘engine of Africa’s integration’— BoG

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison has welcomed the renaming of formerly UK parented financial institution, Barclays Bank Ghana Limited to Absa Bank Ghana Limited, saying the feat will further deepen the status of the country as the operational headquarters of Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

He said part of the key considerations by the Africa Union in naming Ghana its operational hub for AfCFTA is based on a lot of factors exclusive to Ghana which include but not limited to being the ‘engine of Africa’s integration’.

Speaking during the change of name ceremony in Accra, Dr Addison said the public expected Absa to carry along the level of excellence, leadership, and professionalism that had become synonymous with the 100-year Barclays heritage in Ghana.

Addison said: “Let me reiterate that as regulators, we will continue to commit our resources towards ensuring that financial institutions improve their internal controls and risk management systems since the safety and soundness of institutions pivots on these principles.”

As Absa Ghana aspired to become a forward-looking digitally-led bank, he said the BoG was counting on them to contribute to the development of digital solutions that made banking more convenient, while providing more avenues to make financial services more accessible to the unbanked.

He commended the bank for exhibiting strong performance even during the critical time of transition, saying, it was one of the first banks to meet the new minimal capital requirements through internally-generated funds.

Dr Addison said the bank’s total assets more than doubled from GH¢5.3 billion at the end of December 2016 to GH¢11.7 billion at the end of December 2019, while its Capital Advocacy Ratio of 10.6 per cent improved significantly to 16.5 per cent.

The bank’s Non-performing Loans ratio of 19.2 per cent also improved to 6.6 per cent over the review period, an indication of sound credit administration practices.

In her remarks, the Managing Director of Absa Bank Ghana Limited, Mrs Abena Osei-Poku, said the bank would continue to play a leading role in Ghana’s development agenda while remaining focused on serving Ghanaians with quality groundbreaking financial services and safe investments for their hard-earned money.

“Our destiny is tied to that of our country and our commitment to Ghana is absolute,” she added.

She said the bank sought insights from clients and stakeholders when it started the journey to transition and took to heart the feedback they got to build a financial institution that partnered them in innovative ways to bring meaning in their lives.