Management of Union Savings and Loans has conducted a review of their mid- year performance and device new strategies of meeting their yearlong target.
As a business entity, Union Savings and Loans has made it a priority to be top of the tier 2 banking space by 2015.To analyze the feasibility of the institutions’ objective, a review has been conducted by managers of the company to know where they currently stand.
The Managing Director, Philip Oti- Mensah, explained that “countless things have changed in our environment and thus affected business activities.”
As the year 2015 gradually comes to an end, Union has opened up to this self-introspection exercise to identify areas in the financial sector where they excelled and the areas they failed to live up to expectation.
Executives of the company therefore met with managers to share ideas that would keep the company afloat and enhance their image as a vibrant financial institution. The focus was also to remind staff of where the company has come from and where it intends to go in the future.
Since Union set off as a financial institution, Mr. Philip Oti- Mensahexplains “executives have accomplished the unthinkable by growing their total asset from just about GHC 15 million in 2012 to GHC 184 million by the end of 2014.
They have also matched this enviable feat by increasing their deposit base from just about 10 million in 2012 to almost a 100 million in 2014. That is about 10 fold increase and the company has shown no sign of tiring as it has grown its loan portfolio by almost 12 fold.
It is clear the Union has emerged a strong brand in the tier 2 banking space and it is not farfetched to predict it would end up as a bank by 2017.
Towards vision 2017, the MD maintains Union aims to become a dominant commercial bank in Ghana.
Challenges are nothing new to any buoyant organization and Union’s is that of assets and liabilities. The MD for the company explains that the first challenge which is on the assets side has erupted as a result of their clients losing money due to micro economic down turn linked to the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi.
“Basically for most of our clients who import directly and sell in Ghana cedi, they loss value on their money when they have to convert their money in to foreign currencies, especially the dollar.
This slowed them down in business or kept them coming for refinancing or restructuring of their loans. It affected our growth because we had to also slow down and assess extremely well and select carefully”, Mr. Oti- Mensah said.
Then on the deposit side which became a challenge, Mr. Oti-Mensah explains that due to the high inflation coupled with the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi, most of their clients especially the trade clients, preferred to keep their money in high currency.
“Union realized that instead of the trade client deciding to keep their money in Ghana cedis, they transferred their money to suppliers ahead of making any purchase to avoid losing value on their capital”, he added.
[2015 half year Performance]
So far, this years’ performance has been satisfactory, Mr. Oti- Mensah indicated. He therefore tasked staff members to tread cautiously to avoid “performance elusion”.
“Do not be complacent as you strive to achieve the goals set for the year. The ultimate goal for Union is to transact business with class and accompany with quality.
To achieve this, measures have been put in place to motivate staff members and assist them go about their every day activity with speed and quality in service.”
[Strategies going forward]
Union is strategizing to deal with some of the challenges identified. The most important strategy according to Mr. Oti-Mensah is for staff to consistently do simple every day task and to encourage their managers to properly supervise staff.
“It boils down to discussion about leadership. So our strategy is basically; encouraging our managers to become better leaders so that they can get their staff to perform”, he noted.
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