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The History Of GCB As The Bank Celebrations Its 70th Anniversary

The History Of GCB As The Bank Celebrations Its 70th Anniversary

GCB Bank is indeed the oldest indigenous bank in Ghana. Its establishment dates back to 1947, when there were proposals from leading politicians in the then Gold Coast for the establishment of a national bank with central banking functions.

 In 1949, a select committee of the Legislative Assembly was appointed to investigate the establishment of a national bank with purely central banking functions. In 1951, the government appointed Sir Cecil Trevor to examine the question of setting up a national bank on commercial lines to finance development projects and to act as a reserve bank and to provide clearing house services. Based on his recommendation, a state-owned commercial bank was established in 1952 by the Bank of the Gold Coast Ordinance. The new Bank which was named Bank of the Gold Coast now GCB Bank started Operations in 1953.

 In 1953, the Bank of the Gold Coast was set up by the Government and headed by Alfred Engleston, formerly of the Bank of England. Eventually the Bank was split into two: the Bank of Ghana, operating as a bank of issue, to be developed into a complete central bank; and the Ghana Commercial Bank, to be developed into the largest commercial bank with a monopoly on the accounts of public corporations. GCB Bank, then Bank of the Gold Coast, started operations with 27 employees. Initially, it focused on serving Ghanaian traders, farmers, and business people, who could not obtain financing from the expatriate banks.

 In July 1957, after Ghana gained independence, Alfred Engleston was appointed as the first Governor of the Bank of Ghana. As expected, the Bank of Ghana took over the management of the currency and in July 1958 issued its first National Currency - the Cedi - to replace the old West African currency notes. The Bank of the Gold Coast was re-branded to Ghana Commercial Bank, after Ghana attained Independence. The 3 bank assumed the role and functions of Government bankers and began to take over the finances of most Government departments and public corporations.  

 The bank was wholly owned by the Government of Ghana. However, in 1996, when government shareholding stood at 51.17%, the shares of the bank was listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange. Currently, government ownership stands at 21.36%, while institutional and individual holding adds up to 78.64%. In 2013, the bank renamed itself GCB Bank Ltd, with a new brand identity which was launched at the end of 2014. Today, GCB Bank Ltd serves the banking needs of large corporations, parastatal companies, small and medium enterprises as well as individuals. From the one branch of the 1950s, GCB Bank now has over 150 branches and 11 agencies throughout the country.

The bank posted a return on equity of 21.7 percent in 2022, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment. Additionally, the bank’s loans and advances market posted a balance of GH¢5.7 billion, representing 9.4 percent share of the total loans and advances market. Indeed, as at end-May 2023, the bank’s share of loans and advances stood at 10.4 percent, making GCB Bank the second largest issuer of loans and advances to the public and private sectors of the Ghanaian economy. 9. On loans to households, GCB Bank came first with a share of 18.6 percent of the total household loans granted by the banking industry at end-May 2023. Thus, the bank does not only provide financial intermediation to benefit households, but also supports government with a share of 12.1 percent of the industry’s total net investment in government securities at end-May 2023. Concerning safety, soundness, and resilience, GCB Bank compares favourably with the banking industry’s average, given its size and the level of financial intermediation. The bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) stood at 17.0 percent as of May 2023, well above the regulatory prudential minimum of 10.0 percent and above the industry’s average of 14.6 percent. It is of little surprise that GCB Bank is rated Ghana’s safest bank by Moody’s, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s, and the most compliant Bank in Africa by the Association for Certified

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