As the banking sector of Liberia gets boost after years of struggle due to the country’s fifteen years of senseless civil war, and the holistic return of a democratic rule under the leadership of Africa’s first female president, progress is indeed in sight.
One of these banking institutions that are professionally making greater impact in the lives of Liberians and foreign residents through its professional service delivering system, backed with staff who are equipped with honesty and dedication, is Liberia’s most reliable bank, the Global Bank Liberia Limited a member Bank PHP has grabbed Liberians in their bid to deposit their cash to a reliable institution.
A survey conducted by our team of reporters in areas where this bank is been operated during the past weeks proved that its professional services has been graded 95% excellence by those who eagerly spoke to our reporter, expressing their feelings on how they are overwhelmed of its services.
The bank which is headed by one of Nigeria’s finest financial managers, Victor Idabor is significantly making progress in providing numerous services for the people of Liberia; with sub-offices opened to several localities including Sinkor, Paynesville Red-light, Bushrod Island and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
According to the management, in order for the bank to reach to the people throughout the country is to shortly purchase additional properties outside Monrovia in continuation of its decentralization drive, adding, “this move is prompted by a strong conviction that Liberia’s emerging economy is investment friendly,” the Chief of Executive Officer of the bank stressed during the opening of one the bank’s branches in Monrovia.
The success story of the Bank PHP
The conquering of West Africa by Nigerian banks captured one more territory during the week when Bank PHB announced its 100 percent acquisition of a Liberian bank. Bank PHB’s new subsidiary in Liberia is operating under the name Global Bank Liberia Limited (GBLL) and is owned 100 percent by Bank PHB. GBLL already operates with six branches in Liberia and has had its Board and management approved by the Central Bank of Liberia.
Bank PHB’s expansion into the West African coast is part of its strategic intent to emerge as Africa’s integrated bank, offering banking services to all people of African origin no matter their location globally. Plans are at advanced stages to open more Bank PHB subsidiaries. By the second quarter of this year, Bank PHB would have started operations in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Beyond international expansion, Bank PHB is leaving no stone unturned increasing its service delivery channels locally and the attendant increase in market share. To this end, it recently completed the acquisition of Spring Bank Nigeria Plc, the first successful acquisition by a quoted firm by another in the Nigerian capital market. This move was commended by renowned rating company, Global Credit Rating (GCR), which noted that PHB”s access to relatively cheaper retail deposits will be boosted by the improved branch expansion due to the acquisition.
The GCR report noted that the apparent lack of differentiation in strategy across the banking sector in Nigeria has made size a compelling and critical determinant of market success. Bank PHB’s acquisition of spring clearly positions it as a leading player in the Nigerian financial landscape.
Even before the acquisition of Spring Bank, Bank PHB’s expansion drive was clearly not in doubt going by the speed with which it was churning out branches. Between June and October 2008, the Bank opened not less than 35 branches with a further 125 branches planned before June 2009.
Bank PHB says its plan is to emerge as a comprehensive financial supermarket offering a broad range of services with a special emphasis on the retail banking clients. In line with its retail focus, it has maintained a steady growth in its branch network offering its services to over a million customers country-wide and now in two West African countries. The bank’s enhanced geographical footprint, its strong brand equity as well as strategic deployment of assets have fuelled strong deposit growth.
Bank PHB has increased its market share resulting in significant increase in trade finance and project finance opportunities. The Bank is a dominant player in deploying Cash Management solutions to middle market customers and has become one of the leading Project Finance, International Trade and Structured Finance Banks in Nigeria.
Bank PHB joined the exclusive list of Nigerian banks with total assets in excess of a trillion naira at the close of its last financial year in 2008. In its financial results for the 12 month period ended June 30, 2008, Bank PHB announced total assets of N1.038 trillion, 172 percent higher than N382 billion in June 2007.
Bank PHB’s total assets plus contingents hit an all time high of N1.15 trillion, 140 percent more than N479 billion in June 2007.
“Our operations and asset size have expanded steeply, said Francis Atuche, MD/CEO Bank PHB. However, we have also been able to match it with the deployment of strong human capital, state of the art IT infrastructure and risk management systems to ensure we continue to deliver value to both our shareholders and customers”
The steep growth in the Bank PHB’s business assets is in line with its above industry growth rate sustained in the last three years since the consolidation in the Nigerian banking industry. Bank PHB is estimated to be growing at about three times above the average growth rate of the Nigerian banking industry.
Bank PHB’s high pace growth rate has been hinged by analysts on its operational efficiencies, resource optimization, and superior retail banking strategy which was also hailed by Renaissance capital, a leading asset management firm in emerging markets, as one of the most well thought out in the Nigerian banking industry.
“We have become the bank of choice for retail customers and on target as a leading retail bank” Said Francis Atuche. “Our asset diversification strategy has also been on track with a mix of low cost short and long term funds in our portfolio to ensure a sustained and stable incremental earnings stream.”
Even with the significant growth in Bank PHB’s asset base analysts are quick to point out that the bank improved its efficiency ratings. Return on assets have been stable a strong indication of the underlying efficiencies being sustained in the bank’s business despite its expanding business size.
In its 2008 financial year Bank PHB has recorded a six percent drop in cost to income ratio to 46 percent while pre -tax profit margin shot up significantly from 28 percent in June 2007 to 30 percent as at June 2008. Analysts say this means that Bank PHB’s average cost of making every N100 of income has dropped by an average of N6, improving its profits for N100 of income earned from N28 in June 2007 to N30 as the close of its financial year ended June 30, 2008.
The impact has been in the sharp growth in Bank PHB’s profitability as profit before tax shot up 153 percent to N26 billion in June 2008 from N10 billion in June 2007. This was on the back of a 141 percent growth rate recorded gross earnings to N87 billion from N36 billion within the same period.
Further analysis of the bank’s earnings shows that significant growth in earnings has been helped by strong growth in core interest income as well diversification of its sources of earnings.
Francis Atuche explains that Bank PHB is continually looking at improving its earnings structure in a bid to ensure a sustained and stable income base. “We continually aim to increase the proportion of transaction based income within our earnings mix”
Bank PHB is one of Nigeria’s biggest brands driven by strong balance sheet growth and excellent service delivery standards
Last Updated (Friday, 28 May 2010 17:49)