BOND Savings and Loans Plc. was recently awarded for the second time running, the Savings and Loans Company of the Year and the best outdoor advert of the year, 2017Award, at the 29th National Marketing Performance Awards organized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG) in Accra last Friday. BOND was the first to win the best Savings and Loans Company Award, the first time that category was introduced into the Awards scheme in 2016 and has won again for the year 2017.The 2017 Awards was on the theme, ‘Marketing: A catalyst for driving Ghana Beyond Aid.’
It was on the back of this that a staff durbar was organized to celebrate this achievement and also as an opportunity to allay any fear that staff members may have due to the issues happening in the industry. All staff in Accra, Tema and Kumasi were present including senior members of management.
Speaking to staff at the durbar, the CEO Mr. George Ofosuhene, on behalf of the Board and management dedicated the awards to entire team and said this celebration was possible because of everyone’s contribution. The CEO to allay any fears staff may have, was emphatic that the gathering was neither an emergency nor a crisis meeting but the purpose was to discuss the current trend in the banking industry in Ghana and equip staff to be able to speak intelligently when dealing with customers and the general public.
Mr. George Ofosuhene also encouraged staff to work diligently to avoid a crisis situation because the environment was already poisoned with various perceptions about the industry. He indicated that this was the time for staff to engage more with customers and ensure excellent response and top notch customer service at all times. The CEO also stressed “Don’t unduly delay the customer at the banking halls because it will create discomfort in these times”.
BOND IS SOLID
BOND is a solid Savings & Loans company despite the turbulence in the banking industry the CEO assured staff to be proud of this fact, while indicating that liquidity is very strong and for instance the CAR (capital adequacy ratio) is 16%, the BOG benchmark is 10% and the industry average for S&L is 8%. BOND is doing twice better than its peers in the industry and this he indicated is very commendable. Internally, our systems are solid i.e. we have a ROBUST core banking application within the banking sector and not doing bad with E-banking product innovation.
GHANA FIXED INCOME MARKET
The CEO announced that BOND was the first local company to successfully list medium term notes on the GFIM. This he stated was a feat the company achieved after going through a rigorous process of due diligence, scrutiny and opening up the company to the investing public. The success of this lends to the fact that we are solid, creditable and a well-managed institution and hence the approval by our regulators BOG and SEC, to go ahead with the process. Mr. Ofosuhene reiterated that BOND was able to successfully sign on a GH¢100 million medium term note program, out of which a first tranche of Ghc30 million was raised from the capital market and this transaction he said was fully subscribed. The CEO reechoed “so BOND is therefore, very solvent”. BOND has a clear direction and vision to become the best S&L in the country, remain very profitable and serve our customers the best way possible. BOND is structured and operates in a manner that gives the company multiple sources of funding to ensure liquidity.
ADHERENCE TO STRONG INTERNAL STRUCTURES
The BOND CEO alluded to the company’s unflinching adherence to corporate governance rules, saying “we have internal strength which we always rely on; by internal strength I mean we have structures, corporate governance rules that ensure that we keep to standards.”
“We don’t do things that are speculative, we don’t do things that are completely outside the basic tenets of banking and customer service; we make sure that our customers are always better off,” Mr Ofosuhene stated.
BOND IS A TRUSTED BRAND
The CEO assured staff that the company has a robust system to survive current odds in the financial services sector. “We want to give assurance to every single member of staff that BOND is strong; BOND is a trusted brand and we are going to weather the storm, and we will stand tall when this storm is over” he added.
BOG UP TO THE TASK
Mr Ofosuhene said it was not surprising that there was some level of turbulence in the market. According to him, there was some indication not too long ago of some semblance of distress in the market so “it is not surprising that the Bank of Ghana saw it necessary to sanitize the system.”
He believed the clean-up was good for the banking sector as it would restore confidence in Ghana’s banking industry.
This process, painful as it may be, will lead to a better system which will heighten the confidence and comfort of customers and the business community as a whole,” the BOND CEO stated.
He added “we believe that Bank of Ghana has the capability to manage the process. There are those who are of the view that this can lead to the destruction and total collapse of the system. We trust the regulator to do a good job to return things normal and enhance the credibility of the industry.”
NO NEED FOR PANIC
Mr Ofosuhene allayed the fears of staff who may be confronted with questions and other issues relating to the industry not to panic when dealing with these issues but be confident in handling every single doubt and avoid creating any discomfort for the customers. “There is no need for people to panic; these challenges won’t break the back of our financial system; rather it will get better and we will have a more robust system,” he said.
CALL TO ACTION
The CEO in his final words charged staff to be proactive by not waiting for the customer to call but ensure continuous engagement with the customers at all times. He also advised that, staff should seek clarification when in doubt and tell the customer the truth in their daily dealings.
Mr. Ofosuhene cautioned staff to avoid discussing contentious issues with customers such as what is happening to other banks and savings and loans. Staff are encouraged to pass on any information that can be deemed relevant to the current situation and to provide excellent customer service which is critical in these times.
We need to leverage on the current award by CIMG which is no mean achievement. It enhances the quality of the brand but at the same time puts more pressure on us to perform better, he indicated.
BOND ANNIVERSARY SONG
The well composed song and performed by Harmonious Chorale which is making waves on air and on the lips of the general public was sung to close the brief staff durbar.