Graphic Business News

No room for inefficiencies • GAT warns 5 banks

By: Maxwell Akalaare Adombila
Dr Ernest Addison,BoG Governor
Dr Ernest Addison,BoG Governor

THE transaction advisor of the Ghana Amalgamated Trust Limited (GAT), Mr Kofi Osafo Sampong, has assured prospective investors that the team has put in place the right measures to ensure that the banks perform optimally to be able to repay the funds to be borrowed.

He mentioned a planned restructuring of the banks under a business transformation phase that will aim to weed out inefficiencies, prioritise profitable businesses and cut out non-core expenses to help give value for investment.

Mr Sampong described GAT as a reprieve for the banks and the country in general but said the private nature of the arrangement means that “it is not free money.”
“It is not a free ride and it is not free lunch; their lives have changed,” he said in reference to the management of the five banks that the GAT team, comprising investment bankers, auditors and lawyers, will be working with between now 2024.
Possible restrictions
Consequently, Mr Sampong said executives of the five beneficiary banks should prepare for a tough times over the next five years within which their capabilities will be optimised to help achieve results for shareholders and other stakeholders.

He said the planned optimisation of the banks will be overseen by a GAT-appointed consultant, who will be vested with powers to veto key management and boardroom decisions on lending, governance, management, borrowing and expenses.

“There could be restrictions on their paying of dividend, bonuses and executive compensations because we do not want them to paying all these things when they have not repaid the investors,” he said.

Mr Sampong was speaking to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on what the boards and management of the ADB Bank, Prudential Bank, Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), the National Investment Bank (NIB) and Omni/Sahel Sahara Bank should expect under the GAT arrangement.

The Trust is a government-backed special purpose vehicle (SPV) to help the five banks scale through the GH¢400 million capital requirement as well as preserve indigenous ownership in the banking sector, save about 3,000 jobs and create a new investment portfolio for pension funds.

It is being handled by Algebra Securities Limited, KPMG, PwC, EY, Bentsi-Entsill, Letsa and Ankomah and NTHC, the Nominee Shareholder.
Mr Sampong, who is the Managing Director of Algebra Securities, said accepting to be supported by the GAT arrangement meant came with a lot of responsibilities.
“There is a lot of work for the banks to do because times have changed. This is not free money and they will be under strict scrutiny so that they can deliver,” he said.