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Business News of Saturday, 18 August 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Energy Commercial Bank to continue prudent banking practices

Energy Commercial Bank says it will continue to exhibit prudent operational, audit and risk management practices – elements described as very crucial in the sustenance of its business.

The Bank of Ghana in line with its mandate to promote the safety, soundness, and stability of the financial system, and also protect the interests of depositors, had recently taken a number of regulatory actions. Shareholders and directors of Energy Commercial Bank have hailed these regulatory actions, which are part of comprehensive reform measures to strengthen the banking sector, as a step in the right direction which will boost confidence in the banking industry and the Ghanaian economy.The shareholders and directors also highly acknowledged the new corporate governance directives, believing it will minimize the possibility of regulated financial institution failures.

Since its establishment in February 2011, Energy Commercial Bank has complied with all regulatory measures such as Capital Adequacy Ratio andCash Reserve Ratio, far exceeding the minimum threshold. It has remained disciplined and focused, conforming to all banking operational processes and procedures, audit and risk management as well as corporate governance practices, committing to entrench the good practices in all facets of its operations.

Energy Commercial Bank’s prudent practices permeate into the choice of Board appointees and management staff. Importantly, the board members are well versed in banking, finance, managerial economics, operational management, business law, risk management, organizational behaviour, amongst others.

The Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee comprises of four non-executive directors, who are responsible for authorising, directing and reviewing the activities of the internal auditor. They also ensure the company’s compliance with financial and risk management control systems and review the current statutory and audit reports.

Some of the astute members of the Audit and Risk Board Committee include Samuel Ayininuola, an astute banker and chartered accountant with many years of banking, auditing and risk management experience; David Adom, an accounting and tax expert as well as audit trainer; Baba Kamara, a management and development professional and Ghana’s former Ambassador to Nigeria; and Adewale Folowosele, who has over two decades’ experience in banking, accounting and taxation.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Christiana Olaoye explained that another important function of the committee is its review of the risk and compliance reports of the bank, assessment of any internal investigations by the internal auditor in relation to matters where there is suspected fraud or irregularity or failure of internal control systems of a material nature, which is subsequently reported to the Board.

Way forward

After almost seven years in operation, Energy Commercial Bank has repositioned its banking business through implementation of various strategic initiatives aimed at making the Energy Commercial Bank brand a preferred bank of choice in the Ghanaian banking industry.

Energy Commercial Bank is, therefore, confident of recapitalising on time to meet the Bank of Ghana’s Minimum Capital Requirement (MCR) of GHS400 million by December 31, 2018. It has submitted its documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission, awaiting approval, in order to commence its Initial Public Offer (IPO) and subsequently list on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Mrs. Olaoye said:“We will continue to be a part of the development process. We are expanding our frontiers and, therefore, inviting many Ghanaian investors to become part of the Energy Commercial Bank brand.”

Board Chairman, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim earlier told the media that the bank is opening up to allow Ghanaian investor participation in the future direction of the bank.

Dr. Ibrahim added that he would resign his position as Board Chairman after the IPO, following seven years of being at the helm of affairs, and give the chance to a new person to take the bank to another level. This is in line with the Bank of Ghana’s new corporate governance guidelines which bar a person from being a board chairman for more than two terms or 10 years.

After the recapitalisation, Energy Commercial Bank is expected to embark on rapid expansion and accelerated growth, enhance its responsiveness, deploy technology to expand the frontiers of branchless banking; and offer end-to-end digital banking solutions across all facets of the value-delivery process.

Energy Commercial Bank presently has 12 branches in four regions of the country but will expand to other regions after completion of its recapitalisation.