Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), parent company of the Ecobank Group, wishes to correct misperceptions conveyed by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report released on 4 February 2015. The report suggests that ETI’s rapid expansion, lack of regulation and poor governance pose a wider threat to financial stability in Africa.
The report, which contains some inaccuracies, is roughly 18 months out of date as regards some of its references to the Ecobank Group. The internal governance issues that it refers to at Ecobank date back to a period of several months between mid-2013 and early 2014. The Ecobank Group dealt onclusively with those internal governance issues at the time. The matter culminated in the dismissal of its then Group CEO, Mr. Thierry Tanoh, who was replaced by Mr Albert Essien in March 2014.
Since that period, a reconstituted new Ecobank Group board and senior management team has been able to restore stability to the bank and regain the confidence of its stakeholders, including its re gulators, shareholders, customers and staff. The board is led by the experienced and well respected Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh as Chairman. He is supported by a diverse group of directors with a rich mix of experience and knowledge of the African banking industry. Senior management is led by Mr. Essien, a veteran professional of Ecobank for almost 25 years. Board and management have provided strong leadership for the institution since their assumption of office at Group’s 2014 Annual General Meeting.
It would be wrong for the report to inadvertently convey the perception that past governance issues still exist at Ecobank.
A lot has taken place between the preparation of the aforementioned IMF report and the present time.
At the end of 2014, Nedbank and Qatar National Bank became the largest shareholders of the Ecobank group. The investment by both of these banks demonstrates their confidence not only in the Ecobank Group’s future growth prospects, but also in the strength of its governance and its management.
The Ecobank Group took well calculated steps in its expansion over the last eight years. Its deliberate intention, on which it followed through, was to expand only so far within its specific geographic footprint of Middle Africa, and thereafter to concentrate on improving quality delivery in affiliates across this footprint. It thus took a very guarded approach to ensure that rapid expansion did not pose a liability.
With operations today in 36 African countries and total assets of US$23 billion, the Ecobank Group continues to register strong growth. ETI reaffirms the financial strength of the bank as well as governance actions taken to comply fully with its systemically important status in the African banking industry.
Incorporated in Lome, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank. It currently has a presence in 36 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde,Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya,Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal,Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group employs over 20,000 people in 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices.
Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals.