HFC Bank Denies Take Over By Bank Of Trinidad

The management of HFC Bank has dismissed as false, claims being made in a section of the media that the Republic Bank of Trinidad (RBT) had taken over ownership of the Ghanaian bank. Though RBT, the largest financial institution in the Caribbean Region, had acquired an 8 per cent share of HFC Bank, Mr Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of the Bank, said his outfit remained purely a Ghanaian bank with majority ownership. Speaking at the “Facts Behind the Figures” series organized by the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, he said the Bank’s partnership with RBT had become necessary to enable his outfit service large corporate business and receipts as well as to strengthen its position in the West African Sub-Region. Mr Akuffo reiterated that the Board of HFC Bank had approved the establishment of a holding company to acquire the bank’s subsidiaries and to eliminate the risks that they (subsidiaries) posed to its capital. He said when approved by shareholders later during the year, the move will position the subsidiaries to deliver more value to shareholders. The holding company will also free the subsidiaries from the limitations of the strict banking regulations, especially in relation to capital. He underscored the important contributions made by small and medium scale entrepreneurs in the Ghanaian economy and pledged that the bank would position itself to be a leading retail and Small and Medium-scale Enterprise (SME)-focused financial institution. According to him, experienced staff was being recruited to efficiently service the financial needs of the large SME market and the Bank will also look at participating in financing of the oil and gas industry, infrastructural and residential projects as well as the cocoa sector. HFC Bank’s net profit grew by 42.1 percent to GHȼ15.42 million while Net Interest Income was up to GHȼ45.46 million up from GHȼ39.74 million. The bank’s total assets amounted to GHȼ594.9 million while customer deposit increased by 35.6 percent to GHȼ312.38 million up from last year’s figure of GHȼ230.30 million.