Mr Simon Dornoo,
Mr Simon Dornoo,

The persons familiar with the bank’s story say the GCB uphill drive is a tale that brings joy to the bank’s customers, staff, shareholders, regulators and the general Ghanaian public.

Mr Simon Dornoo,
Mr Simon Dornoo,

GCB has waded the waters moving from unsustainable balance sheets in the early 2000s that almost saw the state-owned bank under the auctioneer’s hammer, through checked financial pathways till the eagle actually flapped its wings for the banking take off in 2010.

The bank has chalked phenomenal feats especially ranging from profits, assets, deposits, shareholding funds, to branches and networking,enabling it to rub shoulders with competitors in the corporate banking industry.

In 2009, GCB’s total assets were over one billion Ghana Cedis specifically at GHC 1,922,666,249.00. When Mr. Dornoo took over the reins in March 2010, the bank’s total assets moved to GHC 2,112,821,536.00 at the end of December 31, 2010. Impressively, GCB’s total assets had doubled from the figure in 2010 to over GHC 4.259 billion by December 31, 2014.

The bank managed to stay above the waters from 2001 with a steady profitability until 2009 when its profit before tax halved to GHC 20,640,271 from the 2008 highs of GHC49,713,392. Observers had logically predicted that it was on a down spiral again until the bank posted a December 31, 2010 profit before tax of GHC 91,312,559.00, more than four times that of 2009 at over 300 percent increase. These herculean jumps were mimicked in the ensuing years to the extent that full year reports for 2014 manifested a profit before tax of GHC 394.981 million, almost 20 times over the 2009 base.

Persons familiar with the bank’s growth intimate that the presence of Mr. Dornoo in the seat of affairs is highly accountable for these significant epochs for a public entity. Such persons are therefore questioning the rationale for not wanting Mr. Dornoo to continue to use his banking wand for the benefit of the bank, the government and the public.

The GCB MD’s contract of engagement expires in March this year and information gathered indicates that his contract will not be renewed by the employer. The intention not to renew his employment will have serious implications that his employers will not want to experience unless it is an agenda to put the bank in bad light and then use it as excuse to toss it into private hands.

Observers say the inability to find a suitable replacement with the potency to outperform or par with the dexterity of the present MD would be an economic malady that would definitely infect the GCB to unimaginable proportions which would spread throughout the entire web of banking in the country. This is premised on a past occurrence when Mr. Dornoo went on accumulated leave around the early part of 2015 during which time the bank’s operations nose-dived to the extent that he was requested to cut short the leave and retake the reins.

Moreover, Mr. Dornoo has initiated transformational processes that though not completed, are bearing fruits already, which if allowed to come to completion would hurl the bank to higher banking heights, so persons familiar with the matter say.

The bank itself is very upbeat about the transformation going on that it says on its website, “As part of the change, we have adopted an internal change programme that has been firmly embedded in our business plans, our sta¬ff training, our branches and our services. This programme overhauled the Bank’ score values and brand, resulting in a new evolved logo and a stronger on-the-street presence.

“Our dedication to higher standards will witness the introduction of new banking products and services. We are refurbishing our branch network to international standards, updating our systems and technology and focusing on increased customer satisfaction right across our business channels. This is a long-term programme, but you will see progress over the coming months.”

More and more customers are signing onto GCB’s services as the bank is reaping the scales of rebranding and visibility, opening of more branch networks and increased accessibility to electronic banking. Whereas customers’ deposits moved from GHC 1,575,281,050 in 2010 and GHC 1,259,470,137 in 2009, 2014 recorded GHC 3,074,821,000 in deposits.

Mr. Dornoo’s act as the MD of GCB has been above par to the extent that the bank’s board has publicly lauded him for excellent delivery on performance. The impact of his direction has been felt by shareholders too. For the base year of 2009, the bank recorded earnings per share of0.017 which hopped to 0.212 in 2010; and had catapulted to 1.06 by December 31, 2014.

Persons familiar with the matter say the staff is scared that the exit of the MD will mean disaster for the bank as it will likely experience its downhill shift again. It is suggested that even if Mr. Dornoo would not stay upon the expiration of his contract, he should be maintained till after the elections. This preference is hinged on the logic that as the largest public bank, any unhealthy financial activities from the bank will affect the totality of the national economy and derail any gains made. Additionally, investors’ equity will be eroded and result in a drop in share prices. From retained earnings on equity lows of GHC 49,510,109 in 2009 which almost doubled to GHC 83,758,460 in 2010, the figure jumped to GHC 409.176 million in 2014.

Though the full financial statement for the year ending December 31, 2015 is not ready, the unaudited reports for the period ending September 30, 2015 indicate upbeats in the bottom lines. Revenue for the period was GHC 630.033 million compared to same period of 2014 when 554.677 was recorded. Total assets also experienced an upswing at over GHC 4.754 billion against GHC 3.976 billion for the 2014 period.

MrDornoo, who is also the current President of Bankers Association of Ghana, became the Managing Director of GCB in 2010 upon the retirement of Mr. Lawrence Adu-Mante in March, 2010. Persons familiar with the banking sector are therefore questioning the import of snipping a banking guru like Mr. Dornoo from public banking just because his employment contract is due, suggesting that the best option is to maintain him by renewing his contract.

Source: Amewuga Ablordeppey

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