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Business News of Sunday, 14 August 2011

Source: myjoyonline

GT Bank is Bank of the Year 2010

Guarantee Trust Bank (Gh) Ltd. has been crowned Bank of the Year 2010 at the prestigious Ghana Banking Awards ceremony held at the plush Movenpick Ambassador hotel in Accra on Saturday night.

This award makes it two for GT Bank as they successfully defended the crown they won in 2009.

Apart from taking home the main award, GT Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Corporate Banking, IT/Electronic Banking and Product Innovation. The bank came second in Best Bank in Customer Care, Advisory Services and Competitive Pricing categories.

Other big winners on the night were Unibank Gh Ltd. which won the Best Bank awards in Retail Banking and Advisory Services, Cal Bank which bagged the awards for Best Bank - Trade Finance and Best Bank - Long Term Loan Financing. International Commercial Bank also won Best Bank - Financial Performance and Best Growing Bank awards.

The Agricultural Development Bank and the Women’s World Banking Ghana Ltd. were both given citations for the roles they have played in developing the agric sector and support for women in business respectively.

The ceremony organised by Corporate Initiative Ghana brought together members of the league of banks as well as other businesses across the country.

Executive Secretary of CIG, Mr. Afotey Odarteifio, in an address acknowledged various groups, individuals and institution who have helped to promote the awards over the years.

He said the Ghana Banking Awards has helped to deepen healthy competition in the country which has been seen to be good for stability.

“More competition has been acknowledged to lead to a broadening of the customer base of the financial system, resulting in better diversification of risks,” he revealed, adding “Finally, higher competition, it has been noted, allows regulators to more easily resolve a failing bank by selling its good assets together with insured liabilities to a competitor.”

Mr. Odeifio said “a more competitive banking industry means that interest rate on loans will be lower. Borrowers will then be more profitable and as a result they will be less willing to take risks.”

He said CIG hopes to promote more constructive competition among banks. The is he said will be of benefit to all stakeholders in the sector.

“It will benefit customers because constructive competition would hopefully lead to improved service delivery and pricing, providing solutions to the financial needs of the people and bringing their future lives into the present. It will benefit banks because the improved services and competitive pricing that constructive competition will yield, will elicit a more than proportionate increase in customer base.”

On his part, the Chief Host and Chairman of the Awards Planning Board, Mr. Willing Vanderpuij said the surveys conducted for this year's awards “reveal clear banking services challenges that need urgent attention. Services quality standards, for example, have slid down the ladder among some banks; the frustration some investors face when trying to open accounts with some banks in the country is worrying.”

He said despite a consistent decline in the Monetary Policy Rates by the Monetary policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana there has been a marginal corresponding decline in interest rates.

He stated that notwithstanding these challenges, “there appears to be keen competition and passion among banks, to deliver higher profitability at the expense of the service deliverables desired by clients.”

He therefore encouraged Ghanaian banks to support infrastructural developments, encourage entrepreneurship development and expansion of local businesses to facilitate job creation.