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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

GTBank turns fully-fledged Financial Services Group

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) has been listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the London Stock Exchange, replacing Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, according to the Bank’s Managing Director in Sierra Leone, Ade Adebiyi on Thursday at his office.

According to him, GTCO Plc will operate as the parent company of all Guaranty Trust banking businesses across Africa and the United Kingdom as well as other non-banking businesses that will establish following the transition.

“This development is very exciting to us because transitioning to a Holding Company Structure enables us to create more value for you, deliver better results for all our stakeholders and further enrich lives in the communities wherein we operate,” the Bank stated and added that making financial services work for customers go beyond banking, and as part of their long-term strategy, the bank is are entering the next phase of growth wherein it wants to create and drive innovative financial solutions that go beyond banking.

“To do so, we were legally required to adopt a holding company structure, which we have now completed. This means we are able, ready, and well-positioned to help you achieve the full breadth of your financial goals, in ways we were limited, as a bank,” the bank stated and further notes that “the name, Guaranty Trust, remains the same legally and in all our banking operations.”

“Our transition to a holding company structure will not affect your status as a customer of Guaranty Trust Bank Nigeria or any Guaranty Trust Bank subsidiary across Africa and the United Kingdom.” “The transition will also not affect our banking operations in any way; you will continue to have unrestricted access to all our banking products and services in the same manner as you did before the transition. As a Holding Company, GTCO Plc will set up new businesses that will offer you more value beyond banking. As your bank, we have always been committed to serving you simpler, cheaper, and faster. With the new Holding Company Structure, we will be able to go past our previous limits to play a deeper role in making life simpler and more enriching for you.”

“The eleven subsidiaries still hold their names and nothing has changed.”

The Managing Director told this press that their aspiration in the next five years is to become the top three banks in Africa. Currently, the bank stands at the thirteenth position in Africa, second in West Africa, and third in Sierra Leone.

Adebiyi pointed out that 2021 was a difficult year but better than 2020. “We recorded an increase in our performance and increased in our deposit base. We also crossed the trillion Leones mark. We are not focused on growing our loans but want to keep them steady. We want to grow our investment in Treasury bills and we have been able to penetrate the new market in the industry, which has helped us a lot,” the MD said and also remarked that their challenges borders on exchange rate instability, nonperforming loans, the operating environment due to customers facing challenges also, etc.

Speaking on their migration from 3737 to 9737, Adebiyi pointed out that the regulator, National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) made it clear that their USSD should start with 9 across the board. He said the service, which is currently on Africell will soon be connected with Orange Mobile Company.

“All products and services under the 3737 service remain the same under the new code 9737,” he noted.

On their 20th anniversary, the Managing Director told this press that the bank has recorded lots of achievements in Sierra Leone over the years, stemming from employing lots of Sierra Leoneans, paying taxes to the government, fulfilling their corporate social responsibility, etc. are all important elements that make the bank a Sierra Leonean bank.

“We want to make a statement that this is not a Nigerian bank but with twenty years presence, we have done a lot for Sierra Leone. This shows that we are a Salone bank,” the MD said, and that lots of activities have been lined up such as public shows.

“We are celebrating twenty years of growth and successes in Sierra Leone,” he remarked.

The bank’s corporate social responsibility focuses on education and health for which lots of successes have been scored over the years, especially in schools and hospitals. “We have done a lot and hope to identify more projects to support,” says Adebiyi.

Speaking on major plans ahead, he pointed out that they want to launch a mobile app that enables the customer to do banking services. The GTWorld App, he said will enable customers to make payments anywhere they are. In April, he said they will launch a product with Bollore to enable people to pay their charges without going to the company for a document. “The system is well secured,” he assured.

He also stated that the bank wants to make its system more customer-friendly such that when a customer is qualify for a loan a message will be sent to him or her.

Speaking on the redenomination, the MD said it will help them reload more cash in their ATMs.  “Psychologically the currency is better. We are working towards making sure that we reach over by 31st March 2022,” he assured.

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