The Point (Banjul)

30 September 2013

Gambia: Bank PHB Now Keystone Bank

Bank PHB, a leading financial services institution in The Gambia, has changed its name to Keystone Bank Gambia Limited, in line with the Central Bank of The Gambia's approval for name change and rebranding.

"On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of the Bank, I wish to inform you, of the formal activation and unveiling of the Bank's new name - Keystone Bank (Gambia) Limited which shall take effect from September 30, 2013," the bank's new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Darlington Lawson says in a statement to the press.

"It is actually a rebranding to align our brand with that of the parent bank in Nigeria, Keystone Bank Plc," he added, saying the green light to change the name of the bank from Bank PHB to Keystone Bank (Gambia) Limited was given to them by the Central Bank of The Gambia early this year.

The change of name, which replaces the erstwhile Bank PHB brand, is a strategic intent aimed at aligning international subsidiaries with the parent brand, he says.

Keystone Bank, which owns Bank PHB Gambia 100%, as it stands, is a full service commercial bank with the parent body in Lagos, Nigeria, and over 200 branches in Africa.

The bank prides itself as an institution built on global best practices, powered by state-of-the-art technology with a driven and experienced workforce, focused on the primary objective of delivering reliable and convenient banking services in The Gambia and all their locations.

The brand activation, according to the Managing Director, presents the bank with a stronger position and unique platform to demonstrate its continuing commitment to providing innovative banking solutions to esteemed customers, aimed at making banking an exciting experience.

He also said the Bank PHB branded transaction documents, including cheque books, deposit slips, promissory notes and documents evidencing obligations on the part of the bank, shall be allowed a transition period to be phased out and exhausted, to also give clients and customers a smooth ride over the period.

"Customers will continue to experience the tradition of excellent service delivery; they will continue to be assured of a bank that has resilience, that is here to stay, and we know that customers will grow in their confidence as we have everything to grow their confidence even further. Our tradition of consistency will continue," he told journalists in a press briefing held on Friday at the bank's Kairaba Avenue branch.

There is still a lot more to do in terms of branch network, CEO Lawson notes, saying the bank would continue to deliver professional service and spread out to appreciable extent to meet the aspirations of the Gambian population.

"When we took the step to come to The Gambia, the intention was to reach out to as many locations as possible, and so in the future we certainly are considering opening up new branches, the number and locations to be necessitated by business exigencies."

Talking about what Keystone Bank brings to the market, CEO Lawson says: "We already have a reputation as a full-fledge commercial bank in Nigeria, which offers unique products, unique solutions, and so we want to bring that to bear in the Gambian market, we want to provide those solutions, we have a solution-oriented banking platform we will bring to bear in The Gambia.

"The bank prides itself on being a hallmark of banking best practices and all that - the professionalism, the culture of excellence - is what we want to bring to bear with the new logo. And as you know, when there is a new thing in town, we expect to have a new orientation, some change, and we expect that this will be evidently marketed and we will all be able to benefit from it as Gambian residents."

Further in his statement, he stressed that customers should be rest assured that the bank will continue to go from strength to strength in all aspects of its performance. "We can only get better and that is the intention. We will have the same unique products that the bank has always been known for; whatever you get that is different will be an improvement, certainly not going back."

Darlington Lawson, who says The Gambia has a very commendable regulatory system, also notes that the Central Bank of The Gambia has shown remarkable strength in the exercise of its functions. "They regulate and exhibit remarkable qualities in playing their roles of a watchdog and regulator in the system."

He said, while the economy is growing, there are opportunities for banking with competitive products and services among the 12 banks presently operating in the country.

"We believe that we hold a very unique place in the industry and we are very proud of our achievements, we believe also that there is room for improvement, and we are trying to bring this improvement to bear."

The Keystone Bank MD and CEO thanked all their customers for their trust and confidence in the Management and Staff of the Bank, as they look forward to their continued support.

The bank's strategic intent, he added, is to build a national and diversified franchise by creating superior value for all their stakeholders through unrivalled customer service experience, superior shareholder value, a conducive workplace, and commitment to corporate citizenship.

"I thank the Government and the people of The Gambia for giving us the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the Gambian economy," he said.

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