Freda Prempeh being assisted by a Deputy Governor to cut the tape. Looking on are officials of the bank
Ghana Home Loans Limited, the largest mortgage finance institution in Ghana, has transformed into a universal bank known as GHL Bank.
Ghana Home Loans Limited began operations in 2006 as a non-bank financial institution, focusing exclusively on mortgages to individuals in the country and beyond.
It has expanded with the acquisition of a universal banking licence.
At a well-attended ceremony in Accra yesterday to officially commence universal banking business, Dominic Adu, Managing Director of GHL Bank, said the bank would offer insurance, money transfer, current accounts and savings accounts and strengthen its core mortgage services.
“As a universal bank, we are working with the government and building partnerships to make mortgage affordable to create the environment to make home ownership much easier,” he said.
Mr. Adu disclosed that “we have hired a world class team and invested in systems and processes ready to provide a one-stop bank for financial services at every stage of your life – anchored by our core vision to be the foremost bank for wealth creation.”
Albert Essien, Board Chairman of the bank, said that “GHL Bank’s entry into the universal banking space has been long awaited.
“We have taken time to develop a very strong and effective corporate governance structure and we are poised to execute unflinchingly on the many expectations of our clients, shareholders and regulators.”
Mr. Essien further stated that the minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) will be met and deployed prudently.
He said GHL Bank will deliver unique services to clients to become the foremost institution for wealth creation in Ghana.
A Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana, Dr Max Opoku Afari, said the country was emerging out of a period of slow growth, adding that the financial sector was expected to play a critical role in the growth stimulation.
He said the Central Bank as a regulator was supervising a feasible recapitalization of the banking sector and urged the banks to persist in the assumption of their respective financial intermediation roles.
Freda Prempeh, a Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, said the government was committed to closing the housing deficit by partnering the private sector.
GHL Bank currently operates from its Airport Residential Area head office, and has plans to roll out its branch network at strategic locations throughout the country.
The bank currently employs about 160 professionals.
Over the past decade, it has served over 3,000 households with approximately US$190 million in home financing.
The company has sourced over $200 million in long-term funding from a formidable list of institutions such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Dutch Development Bank FMO, IFC, Paris-based Proparco, Germany’s DEG, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, Ghana International Bank and Shelter Afrique.
In 2012, the Dubai-based private equity fund Abraaj acquired a majority stake in Ghana Home Loans, now GHL Bank.
By William Yaw Owusu