In 2018, we want to be strategic in our approach to business and hope to get more robust with digital banking. We are a retail-focused bank and want to reach out to many more people. Banking is moving away from brick and mortar, so we will push forward with digital. We are going to do more trade finance and want to open up Africa to the world through our network. UBA is looking forward to facilitating payment across trade in Africa and looking at an innovative mobile app that will also rely on biometrics. What's more, we want to leverage bank account transfers using social media platforms to facilitate banking services, including the movement of money. We will be focusing on that in the retail sector for driving financial inclusion not only in terms of mobilizing their deposits but also giving out digital credit. The recent announcement of higher capital requirements will strengthen banks, making us bigger and increasing our capacity to do more. The government can continue to improve the environment and create an enabling environment for us to thrive. It is on course but can do better. Finally, it would be great to allow banks to do business. There should not be competition in any way with banks from the government side.
May. 22, 2018
Managing Director & CEO, UBA
Chief Executive, Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank in Ghana is becoming increasingly significant, and today we are among the top four or five countries together with Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Angola, and South Africa. Since early 2016, Stanbic has been the leading corporate investment bank in Ghana. We have a well-developed investment banking advisory business that works with our colleagues in China to work with both Chinese businesses coming to Ghana and Ghanaian businesses going to China. We also work closely with our team in London to look at sovereign eurobonds and with our teams in South Africa for larger African businesses. Another investment bank in Ghana would not have such a spread that covers all areas. Our debt capital business, which is part of investment banking, has been part of the government bond program for the past three years, through which we helped the government raise its debut local currency bond. We also advise it on eurobonds. Finally, we put together large private-sector debt transactions through our structured debt products to leverage debt and over time increase clients' equity. We also have our staple corporate banking business for large multinationals and domestic companies. We are digitizing the ability of our clients to receive payments locally and internationally using digital platforms, which makes us the global leaders in foreign exchange trading, fixed income trading, and structured products.
We have grown from one branch in 1990 to 78 branches as of 2016, spread all across the country. This underlines that the distribution of our services is key. Over the past five years, digital has become central in what we do. If we want to be responsive to the needs of our clients we have to position ourselves to be able to ride the curve of this technology and the technical development that is taking place in the sector. In December 2016, we became the only country in Africa to launch a unified mobile app that allows customers to send and receive money from 33 countries. We extend it even still further to non-Ecobank account holders, who can now receive money through the generation of an e-token sent via WhatsApp. As of November 2017, we have over 220,000 people using our mobile app, and they are actively accessing services. This figure is a combination of our internet banking solutions, POS service stations, QR codes, and ATMs. At the SME level, we are working to introduce the informal banking sector to formal services, creating a credit history and a track record for them. For corporates, we also want them to initiate and terminate banking transactions from the comfort of their offices.