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Business News of Thursday, 1 December 2016

Source: Kesse, Nana Yaw

One year of Capital Bank’s Africa Journey

CEO of Capital Bank (left), Fitzgerald Odonkor, in an interaction with the Board Chairman

… Delivering superior value, building businesses and creating wealth


On December 1, 2015, First Capital Plus, an indigenous bank with a firm hold in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) sector, embarked on a new journey.

The very first step to mark the new forward-thinking approach and the vision to become the local bank of excellence for African markets was marked by rebranding from First Capital Plus Bank to Capital Bank.

To actualize the corporate vision, Capital Bank appointed Nilla Selormey, Managing Consultant at Damian Carl Capital as consultant and also revitalized the Board of Directors with the appointments of Mr. Kofi Kwakwa and Mrs.
Frances Adu-Mante who have a combined total of over 50years experience globally and across Africa in private equity investments, banking, corporate strategy development and implementation, corporate governance, entrepreneurship and Law.

Combined with a newly reconstituted Executive Committee under the leadership of Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor as Managing Director, the new distinct and easy-feel Capital Bank then embarked on the journey to become the bank of excellence, a tier-one bank in the next five years and expand into other African markets; buoyed by a new capital injection of about GH¢50million.

As Capital Bank marks the first year of its African journey, the bank has raised its profile within the Ghanaian banking sector with customer-focused retail products, expanding its presence across the country, and deploying enhanced electronic products to meet the taste of the new African.

Given that Ghana is one of the leading countries for inward remittances. Indeed, remittances to the country hit its peak in 2013 when US$2billion was sent home by what the World Bank has estimated to be 737,000 Ghanaians working abroad. The value, however, dipped marginally in 2015 but regained momentum in 2016.

Private inward transfers received by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) , Embassies, service providers and individuals through the banks between January and December last year amounted to about US$17.8billion.

These statistics clearly showed the need to provide money remittance services by the new-look Bank to its growing customer base and the general public. Capital Bank, within the last one year, has partnered world-acclaimed international money transfer providers.

Ria, one of the international money transfer providers of the Capital Bank for instance, has been in the business for about three decades. It’s fast, reliable, secure and availability in about 147 countries, has made it one of the most-liked international transfer providers by Ghanaians. The integration of Capital Bank’s systems with that of Ria makes it possible for customers to receive remittances instantly in their Capital Bank accounts.

As noted by Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, Managing Director of Capital Bank at the announcement of the partnership with Ria and other similar international money transfer providers of the Bank, “the real essence of these partnerships is not necessarily about transferring money; it’s about impacting society. We believe remittances are about connecting families, building relationships, sharing love, helping to realize dreams and delivering hope to millions of people.”

In line with Capital Bank’s culture of innovation and leadership, the bank launched SpeedPay, an innovative solution that makes it possible for customers to deposit cash into their bank accounts anytime, anyday, anywhere through the use of their mobile phones and SpeedPay money vouchers without having to visit the banking hall. The Bank also signed an agreement with one of the fastest growing petroleum downstream sector operators, Allied Oil, to make its novel SpeedPay vouchers available to the public in Allied Oil’s service stations across the country. The successes achieved with this partnership over the past few months, demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to grow and entrench itself in the retail sector.
In September, Capital Bank launched the Young Achiever Account as part of its untiring pursuit for superior value and the desire to provide holistic financial solutions across every facet of the customer’s lifecycle. With an initial opening balance of just GH¢10 and a minimum operating balance of GH¢100, this product makes it possible for parents to save with their favourite indigenous bank towards their children’s future. The account comes with interest tiered at 2% above Capital Bank’s Savings Account rate, ilearn tablets, partner discounts from Sytris books, Lizzy Sports Complex and more.

As noted by Rev. Odonkor, “strategic planning and discipline” are the two things parents need if they are to save towards their children’s future.
The Bank’s focus on delivering value-added services has also resulted in a partnership with Africa World Airlines (AWA), an indigenous airline servicing the domestic and sub-regional routes, which makes it possible for customers to make flight bookings and purchase Africa World Airline tickets from any Capital Bank branch nationwide.
Capital Bank has also deployed 40 sophisticated ATMs that allow customers to do interbank and intra-bank funds transfer from their Capital Bank account to any bank through the Ghana Instant Pay platform and also through the Bank’s internet banking platform.

In line with our brand promise of delivering superior value, Capital Bank launched the innovative V-man campaign this year to encourage a savings culture by giving customers free cash vouchers to open bank accounts at any Capital Bank branch. A gesture that is a novelty in Ghana’s banking industry.

One of the bank’s key strengths is the ability to innovate by developing simple and relevant solutions that dictate the dynamics of banking and also meets the needs of the sophisticated Ghanaian.
Capital Bank’s gentle steps in its African quest have been done with all good intentions, it has not gone unnoticed. The Bank was adjudged as the Best Growing Bank; Best Bank in Deposits and Savings; and Best Bank in Household/Retail banking for 2015. It was also adjudged as the Best Customer Service Company in Ghana for the year 2016 by the Ghana Customer Service Council.

Capital Bank, led by a rejuvenated management team, is now the 8th ranked bank and the 25th Best Company at the 2016 Ghana Club 100 Awards organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

After one successful year of rebranding, Capital Bank is committed more than ever, to provide the best customer-focused solutions and superior value to Ghanaians as it strives to establish the brand on the continent and continue to be at the forefront of changing customer needs continues.
Indeed, when deeds speak, words are nothing.

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