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Business News of Monday, 16 December 2019


Sanitising the banking sector important for building confidence - Societe Generale

Mr Hakim Ouzzani, the Managing Director of Societe Generale Mr Hakim Ouzzani, the Managing Director of Societe Generale

The step by the Government to clean up the financial sector could generate negative reactions at the beginning; but result in confidence in the sector, subsequently, Mr Hakim Ouzzani, the Managing Director of Societe Generale (SG) Ghana has said.

The reforms, he said, would strengthen the sector and instill more hope and trust in the public for the sector to give them self-assurance to transact businesses.

It would also enforce compliance in various ways, including liquidity coverage ratio, to stabilise and grow the Ghanaian banking sector, he added.

Mr Ouzanni was speaking in an interview with journalists, on Wednesday, at the sideline of the "End of Year Client Event", organised by the Bank to appreciate clients, most of whom were corporate entities.

It was also to offer them a platform to network for business opportunities.

Mr Ouzzani said the SG Bank focused on helping the Government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, hence, were motivated to comply with directives to put customers first in all of its operations.

It was prudent for businesses, he said, to contribute to national development, by protecting the State's resources and helping to reduce the unemployment rate.

As a good corporate citizen, the Bank, he said, had put measures in place to use solar energy in most of its offices nationwide and given opportunity for Ghanaians to acquire about 40 per cent shares of the Bank.

"The SG Ghana is committed to raising €120 billion into energy transition between 2019 and 2023, out of which €100 billion would be dedicated to sustainable bonds issues and €20 billion to renewable energy sector through advisory and financing," he stated.

"The Bank, would 'reduce to zero' its exposure to the thermal coal sector by 2030 for companies with thermal coal assets located in the European Union or the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries; and 2040 elsewhere".

Mr Ouzzani urged all financial institutions and corporate institutions to make clients' satisfaction a priority if they wanted to excel.

"For us, our biggest challenge is client satisfaction because we are always striving to give customers the best service so that we wouldn't have complaints," he said.

He expressed gratitude to staff and clients and encouraged them to confront the Bank whenever they encountered challenges in their transactions.

"Another way of contributing to socio-economic development is through Corporate Social Responsibility activities, therefore, the Bank has partnered the Ghana Heart Foundation and the Royal Seed Orphanage Home to enable them to achieve their mandate".

Mr Ernest Kuetche, the Deputy Managing Director of SG Ghana, said the Bank had plans of diversifying business in other sectors and stabilising their position in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises sector in 2020.