UT Bank Receives $15 Million From IFC To Support SMEs

UT Bank Limited Ghana, on Thursday signed a $15-million joint equity investment with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Africa Capitalisation Fund, which is managed by IFC Asset Management Company. The investment will help expand UT Bank’s lending to small and medium scale businesses in Ghana, and the investment was subject to approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Stock Exchange. IFC will also extend an Advisory Services programme to strengthen UT Bank’s risk management and corporate governance practices. The combination of additional capital from IFC and world-class expertise through the advisory services programme will support UT Bank as it continues to implement its strategy of expanding its SME and consumer lending business, a statement from the institutions said in Accra. “Small and medium scale businesses are powerful drivers of growth in African economies, but they often face challenges in getting appropriate finance,” said Mary-Jean Moyo, IFC Country Manager for Ghana. “IFC’s partnership with UT Bank will provide banking services to underserved entrepreneurs, helping build businesses and create jobs in Ghana.” UT Bank is Ghana's leading SME and consumer lending Bank and was last year voted the best Bank in Short term finance. UT, which is currently listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, was established in 1997 as a non-bank financial services company by Ghanaian entrepreneurs Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Joseph Nsonamoah, and has grown rapidly to become one of Ghana’s most respected companies. At the 2011 Annual General Meeting, shareholders of UT Bank passed a resolution enabling the Directors to raise additional capital to meet Bank of Ghana’s new capitalisation requirement of GH¢60m. As a result of IFC’s equity investment, the Bank will successfully attain the new capitalisation requirement. “IFC is the world's largest development institution focused on the private sector, and its investment constitutes a welcome affirmation of the commercial success of the "UT Way," as well as the positive social and developmental impact UT has made in Ghana,” said UT’s CEO, Prince Amoabeng. The CEO added that "IFC’s investment will help spur the development of Ghana's SME and mid-market companies and prepare the Bank for future growth opportunities in the economy”.