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The Banker Awards: Ghana Commercial Bank named Best Bank in Ghana for 2011

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Officials of GCB holding The Banker award. Photo credit: The Banker

The Banker, a magazine owned by UK’s Financial Times, has adjudged state-owned Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), the country’s biggest lender by assets, as the Best Bank in Ghana for the year 2011.

Ecobank Ghana won the award for the year 2010.

This was announced during The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2011 which took place November 30, 2011 in the ballroom of the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel in the heart of London, UK.

Now in its 12th year, The Banker Awards has become one of the most prestigious events within the industry.

According to the magazine, GCB has carried out a remarkable makeover in the past two years saying following a steep rise in non-performing loans to 20% of its portfolio (most of them emanating from the oil and mining services sectors), the bank is on track to reduce them to 6% by the end of the year.

The Banker says GCB has remained highly profitable despite having to fix its balance sheet.

“It made net profits of GH¢55 million ($34 million) in 2010, up from GH¢18 million in 2009. This amounted to a return on equity of 23%, a level which most lenders in the West can only dream of in the current economic climate,” The Banker stated.

The magazine adds, “This year looks better still. Net income for the first nine months rose 7% to GH¢38 millions.”

Simon Dornoo - MD of GCB

The Banker attributed GCB’s success of tackling delinquent assets to the new Managing Director Mr. Simon Dornoo.

“Its success in tackling delinquent assets followed its appointment of a new managing director, Simon Dornoo, in 2010. Under his leadership, the bank made recovering impaired loans a priority,”

Mr Dornoo was quoted as saying “It worked very well. We have really repositioned the bank. We’ve built a strong capital and liquidity platform that can launch us to the next level.”

On the African continent, the Standard Bank Group (SBG) was named 2011 Bank of the Year in Africa. Its subsidiaries in four African countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe won the Bank of the Year.

The Banker recognised Standard Bank Group for its ability to gain strategic advantage, adapt to variable market conditions, secure important deals and succeed in an increasingly competitive landscape.

The HSBC bank won the Global bank of the year.

The following are the the Global and Regional Awards Winners:

Global Bank of the Year
HSBC

Western Europe
Santander

Central & Eastern Europe
Sberbank

Asia-Pacific
HSBC

Americas
Itaú Unibanco

Middle East
National Bank of Kuwait

Africa
Standard Bank

Global transaction services
Citi

Financial inclusion
Standard Chartered

The awards gala night provided an opportunity to meet and network with the most senior bankers from over 130 countries and to celebrate the success and major achievements of the world’s leading financial institutions.

By Ekow Quandzie

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