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Business News of Monday, 12 December 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Premium bank upbeat about competition in banking industry

New kid in the banking industry, Premium Bank, has vowed to make significant inroads in the sector despite the stiff competition it will be hit with as it joins the industry proper.

Premium bank which hitherto was City Investments Company Limited got the green light from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to begin operations as a bank in the second quarter of this year. Speaking to Citi Business News at the media launch, the Managing Director of Premium Bank, Kwasi Tumi said he is confident the bank will make significant strides in the banking industry.

“Our focus is on SMEs we believe that they are the core of this market, but the question is whether the thirty-two banks are meeting their needs. But I do not think so. We believe we have a niche that we can use as an entry and therefore we are not to bothered by the thirty-two banks,” he stressed.

“The banks are in tiers and everybody has a market that they deal with but we are coming in at about the bottom three so we think that there is a market for the space within which we are equipped to operate,” he added. Currently there are 32 banks, of which 17 are domestically controlled. Prior to hitting 32, the number was 28; the increase is expected to push competition in the industry even higher.

One of the newest entries, Omni Bank is focused on SME financing. But reacting to whether the focus on SMEs will be a major competition to the progress of Premium Bank, Kwasi Tumi further explained that the bank’s experience in the industry should enable it to meet the competition.

“Competition makes us better; any company or business that worries about competition does not want to become as good as it wants to be. We have been in the space for over twenty years as such we do not worry about competition,” he observed.

City Investments Company Limited now Premium bank was incorporated as a private limited liability company under The Companies Code, in 1992, originally as Vanguard Investments Limited and subsequently licensed by the Bank of Ghana on 18 April 1995 to operate as a Finance House. The bank’s majority shareholder is the Vanguard group.