First National Bank officially launches in Ghana

First National BankFirst National Bank (FNB) Ghana, a subsidiary of the Firstrand Group, officially launched its operations on Thursday with a pledge to introduce innovative products and services to customers as well as contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic development.

First National Bank, which is the leading bank in South Africa, operates in countries across the continent, including Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr Richard Hudson said the bank would through the use of exciting offers and new banking technology to woo customers.

“We are truly delighted to be part of Ghana’s banking sector. While our footprint is still developing, we have plans to roll out additional branches and ATMs in the next few years and are already offering a full range of digital platforms from banking app for smart devices to online banking,” he said.

“We took the decision to set up an entirely new green field operation free from existing structures and built a new bank from the ground up,” Group CEO of FNB Jacques Cellers said.

He said Ghana represented another opportunity to build a new bank tailored to the requirements of the country using available and proven technologies across operations.

He said the bank’s offering would be based on innovation in areas of electronic and digital banking that is convenient and low-cost to the public while at the same time building conventional branches and installing latest ATM machines.

“Our key objective is to provide electronic and digital banking that is convenient and low-cost to a broad segment of the people of Ghana.  At the same time, we are building conventional branches and installing our latest ATMs,” he said.

The bank already has two branches in addition to its headquarters but plans to roll out five more branches before the close of the year.

Chairman of the board of FNB Ghana, Michael Larbie said the bank would bring innovation, quality service delivery and retail banking to bear on its operations in the Ghanaian market.

Besides, the bank would also continue to invest in high end projects.

He said the bank has already invested more than $700 million in Ghana in projects such as the CENIT Power Project, the construction of a jetty at the Tema Port, the Achimota Mall, Junction Mall and the Garden City Mall in Kumasi.

“Ghana is a strategic country for us and see ourselves growing First National Bank Ghana into a key systematically important bank over time, as we focus on growing the bank’s footprint to other regions of Ghana,” he said.

Dr Henry Wampah, the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, in his remark lauded the bank for entering the Ghanaian market.

He said First National Bank entry into the Ghanaian market would help create jobs for the youth, saying within the short period the bank came to Ghana it had employed more than 120 Ghanaians.

Dr Wampah urged the bank to consider the listing of some of its shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange to raise more equity capital and give Ghanaians the chance to share in the ownership of the bank.

Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance, said the bank’s entry was a demonstration of investor confidence in the face of the economic challenges.

He expressed the hope that First National Bank would help further deepen the financial relations between Ghana and South Africa.

Mr Terkper reiterated government commitment to pursue strategies to help the banking sector and businesses in general to thrive.

Source: GNA

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