2 May 2012

Ghana: First Capital Plus to Expand Into African Markets

First Capital Plus (FCP), a savings and loans company specialised in private sector development through Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), has disclosed that it would extend its operations to other African markets in its quest to become the continent's financial powerhouse for SMEs.

To achieve this, the company must first cross a major hurdle - a license from the country's Central Bank, Bank of Ghana (BoG) - to enable it operate as a fully-fledged universal bank.

With the acquisition of the Universal Bank License, the company would then have the mandate to do foreign transactions and expand its scope of operations.

"Going into the future, FCP intends to expand its operations nationwide and across Africa with the support of our dedicated staff," revealed the Chief Operating Officer of the FCP, John Kofi Mensah, at a press briefing in Accra on Monday.

Indications are that the FCP has applied for the said license and is waiting for the approval and recommendations of BoG.

Another major stumbling block staring the FCP in the face is whether it can afford the Central Bank's new stated capital base requirement of GH60 million by the close of the year, 2012, if issued with the universal bank license to operate.

However, a company official, who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity, said the company had positioned itself to meet the demands of the regulator.

As at the end of November, 2011, only sixteen out of twenty seven commercial banks licensed to do business in the country had so far met the Bank of Ghana's stated capital requirement of GH60 million.

With barely two and a half years of existence in the financial industry, the FCP has grown from strength to strength, helping SMEs keep on their feet in the competitive Ghanaian market, and expanded its base of operations to ten branches in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central and Western regions.

In 2011, the FCP recorded a Net Income of GH20, 711, 384, compared to GH3,819,864 achieved in 2010, representing an increase of 442.2%.

Operating Profit Before Income Tax saw an increase of 2,739.9%, rising from GH 312,474 in 2010 to GH 88,774,061 at the end of 2011. Customer Deposits recorded a 168.7% increase, from GH36,067,288 in 2010 to GH96,932,958 in 2011.

"These exceptional achievements were made possible by our core values of Professionalism, Reliability, Integrity & Trust, Speed & Accuracy, anchored by God-Centredness in our business operations," noted Mr. Mens

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