Ghana Amalgamated Trust bails out Omnibsic Bank

After months of struggle, Omnibsic Bank has finally met the Bank of Ghana Gh¢400 million capital requirement set for all commercial banks in the country.

This was after the financially ailing bank received a bailout of Gh¢130 million funding support 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”, the Head of Corporate Communications of Omnibsic, Mr Godwin Ansah, in Accra.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic last Friday, Mr Ansah said Omnibsic Bank received the finding support from GAT earlier this year “and this means a number of things to us.

It means we have met the minimum capital requirement and we can support a wide variety of customer transactions including international transactions.”

Additionally, he said, the bank could provide an improved customer experience because it was now able to invest in better information Technology (IT) and other technological infrastructure that would make banking safer and more convenient to its customers.

With the support, he said, Omnibisic was also able to offer a rich product and service bouquet including new user friendly and electronic banking product options supported by robust electronic platforms such as its mobile and internet banking product which comes with a wide variety of services for customers. Also the bank, Mr Ansah said, was able to provide a wide variety of business solutions to its customers to enable them to undertake their businesses and operations and help them move to the next level.

According to him, receiving funding from GAT implied that GAT was now a shareholder of the bank and would enable it to tap into the extensive expertise of GAT in the industry to provide greater value for the bank’s customers.

“We also believe that this should send an important signal to the public and boost their confidence in doing business with us because we are bigger, stronger and well managed,” he said.

Journey to date

The bank is one of five indigenous banks including three private banks that the GAT is supporting to recapitalise after Parliament approved a sovereign guarantee for trust.

In 2017, the Central Bank raised the minimum capital of banks from Gh¢120 million to 400 million as part of reforms to strengthen the Ghanaian banking sector.

In line with this, existing banks were to raise the additional capital by December 31, 2018, or risk having their licences revoked.

At the end of the deadline for the recapitalisation drive, the number of existing banks went down to 23 from 32 with nine banks having either collapsed or had their licences revoked.

Omnibisic Bank was formed following the merger of OmniBank Ghana Limited and the Bank Sahel Sahara Ghana but their combined capital still fell short of the Gh¢400 million capital requirement.

The bank was identified as one of the indigenous banks to receive support from GAT which is a special purpose investment vehicle set up by the government to raise money to capitalise well managed indigenous banks.

As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to impact communities across the country and the broader economy, Mr Ansah said Omnibisic bank had made the health and wellbeing of its employees, customers and the communities it served its top priority.

The bank, he said, has, therefore, intensified safety measures to ensure the protection of the health of its employees, customers and the public while it continued to provide innovative financial services during this period.

Omnibisic Bank, he said, has restructured facilities for clients based on their cash flows, the nature of their business as an intervention to keep its customers afloat during the coronavirus pandemic period.