OmniBSIC Bank has confirmed it has received GH¢130 million capital funding from the Ghana Amalgamated Trust Limited (GAT), thus completing the final step in meeting the minimum capital requirement introduced by the Central Bank.
“The bank would like to remind the general public that earlier this year, it received the GH¢130 million capital funding from the Ghana Amalgamated Trust Limited (GAT). This comes as good news for the bank and its customers and further underscores the confidence that the Bank of Ghana has in OmniBSIC bank,” a statement from the bank said.
The Central Bank, in 2017, raised the minimum capital of banks from GH¢120 million to GH¢400 million with a December 2018 deadline. Between 2017 and 2018, the directive resulted in the merger of some banks, revocation of licenses of others and the consolidation of others.
Two banks, OmniBank and Sahel Sahara Bank, joined forces to become the OmniBSIC Bank but fell short of the GH¢400 million stated capital. The new institution, therefore, applied for support from the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT), a special purpose investment vehicle set up to raise money to capitalise indigenous Ghanaian banks through the issuance of bonds.
Executive Directive of OmniBSIC Bank, Philip Oti-Mensah, told the B&FT that the raising of this capital means the bank is stronger and well capitalised and can undertake bigger transactions.
“We now have the capacity to invest in the various IT infrastructure to make banking more convenient for our customers. Given the nature of the business environment, with regards to COVID-19, the bank is set to enhance its internet and mobile banking platforms to reach more customers,” he said.
“To meet the stated capital requirement means we can offer more confidence and I appreciate the fact that during the banking sector challenges, most of our customers stayed with us and we appreciate that,” he added.
Mr. Oti-Mensah added that with the bank’s business and SME clinics, OmniBSIC Bank has always had the best interest of customers at heart. “We have reduced interest rates on loans to clients and on a case-by-case basis, we have restructured existing loans. If a customer has to pay monthly installments on loans, we have given them time to repay, depending on the nature of their business and cashflow. This puts less pressure on customers,” he added.
The Executive Director added that the bank has introduced free COVID-19 virtual SME clinics where clients can call and book appointments with senior management executives who would take clients through challenges and help them implement solutions.
“Some of the topics being treated are employee, debt, and cashflow management. It doesn’t end there. We have a history of always supporting and developing our staff because without the staff the bank is nothing. We have put in measures to make sure the staff are safe. We have given them equipment to make sure they are safe and recently we procured immune boosters for the next 30 days,” he added.
Mr. Oti-Mensah noted that, in line with government’s lockdown directive, the bank is operating from only branches in the lockdown areas and has also modified its working hours to only five hours on weekdays (9 am – 3 pm). “Moreover, not more than six customers are allowed inside a branch at any given time to ensure social distancing protocols are adhered to.”