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Developing Banks With Scale For Big Ticket Items (Another View)   
 
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11-Feb-2015  
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On January 30, 2015, an article with the above headline and written by Kofi Korsah –Nkansah was published in three newspapers.

A well – researched article on the topic however, the writer chose to re-echo the debatable view expressed by the Ecobank boss at the 14th MTN business World breakfast meeting that big banks were in effect, the panacea for financing the economic agenda of Ghana and bringing end to the woes of the country.

What the writer failed to realize was that the Ecobank boss’s view sought in a way to justify the criticism levelled

BUSINESS INTEREST

Big foreign banks have their business interests which are not always in line with the development agenda of the government. What has been the impact of raising the minimum capital and the proliferation of big foreign banks on the Ghanaian economy? Do the unprecedented high levels of interest rates, depreciation of local currency, shortage of foreign currency etc. support the assertions he is making? Does the writer know about syndication? The myth of too big to fail was disapproved by the financial crises which hit the world economy in the not too distant past. Big is indeed not beautiful.

By the way who benefit from the higher dividends to shareholders when there is taking over by a big foreign bank is there not a case of building some strong private Ghanaian banks that could much other competitors seeking dominance in the sub regional market? There are policies which when implemented would ensure that the banking industry evolves towards consolidation, reduced cost of operations and lower lending rates but that is a topic for later. Form the shaky foundation the writer jumped into the HFC republic bank mandatory takeover matter and it became very clear that he was clueless about the issue he is supposed to be following.

My research reveals the following interesting information contained in the table. Given the statistics above, it will be educative to analyses the sources of the profitability of this Caribbean bank which operates in five countries across that region.

Maybe the bank of Ghana, the Ghana government and all of us will learn a lesson or two from how the government bailout of a bank belonging to a private institution, CL financial group, has become so profitable


CROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) USD BILLION
YEAR GHANA TRINIDAL
2010 25.98 20.8
2012 39.57 23.4
2014 47.93 24.64

GDP ANNUAL GROWTH RATE(%)
2010 4.1 0.2
2012 2.6 -0.1
2014 5.1 1.98

POPULATION IN 2013 (MILN) 25.91 1.34

Source of Data-ieconomics. com


that they have ventured outside when growth is stagnated in their home region to seek greener pastures in Ghana.
The writer asserts that the republic bank has in fact so far invested so much in HFC bank without stating how much. i have also check from a credible sources and found his information to be false the amount republic bank has invested in the bank directly to date is USD7.72 million.

Mr Korsh Nkansah says he has checked his facts with experts and found that republic bank has to date followed due process. Is he aware of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently investigating some share transaction undertaken by the republic bank? Does he already know the outcome of the SEC enquiry? Pushing false information is not the way to fulfill the crucial duty of informing the Ghanaians on this very important issue.

I read the managing directors statement in the annual report of the republic bank for 2013 in which he stated that their share of profits in HFC bank (Ghana) limited for two months of it being an associate of republic bank limited amounted to US$10 million. I again read from the chairman’s statement that the oil output in Trinidad for 2013 averaged 80,737 barrels per day (bpd) what is Ghana’s production bpd? I leave reader to draw conclusions. The writer should admire first the Ghanaian investors and management who build the bank from the scratch since 1990 to become respected and profitable financial institution, and not ascribe the bank’s profitability to a foreign banks which is yet to cut its teeth in Ghana.

I am surprised Mr. Korsah Nkansah to refer to Nigeria in his price. Unlike Ghanaians like him, Nigerians are proud of what is theirs. They do not suffer from our kind of inferiority complex that makes us believe that despite having our own GCB bank, HFC bank, CAL bank and reputable foreign banks such as stanchart, Barclays, SG bank etc, it is a bank from Trinidad that is now coming to finance infrastructure, offer low interest rates, create mortgages, train bankers and pay dividend to SSNIT that will ensure that Ghanaians receive living wages and pensions. What a shame!

MISINFORMATION

Mr. korsah nkansah concludes his article by saying that by the way who said republic bank is a foreign? They are the children (and therefore our relatives) coming back home and bringing value. He did not research into the demographic composition of the people in the Caribbean. That is homework worth undertaking. Who said Trinidadians see themselves as our relatives?

The more such slanted and misinformed articles appear in our news a paper,The more cynical Ghanaians becomes. If people such as Mr. korsah nkansah, who have the unique opportunity to educate themselves and the Ghanaian public cannot analyze and argue dispassionately and honestly, then we are in big trouble
 
 
Source: Sammy Opoku, Accra
 
 

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