HFC Bank now Republic Bank; Confident of meeting GH¢400m requirement

BY: Seth J. Bokpe
President of Republic Financial Holdings Limited, Mr Nigel Baptiste
President of Republic Financial Holdings Limited, Mr Nigel Baptiste

The HFC Bank has rebranded and will now be officially known as Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited and trade as Republic Bank, giving an assurance that it will meet Bank of Ghana’s GH¢400 million minimum capital requirement for commercial banks well ahead of the deadline.

All other subsidiaries of the bank have also gone through the rebranding exercise and will now be known as Republic Investments Limited, Republic Boafo, Republic Brokerage and Republic Securities.

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This follows meeting all regulatory requirements by the Trinidad-based Republic Bank after taking controlling stakes in HFC three years ago.

Financial muscle

At a ceremony to unveil the bank’s new identity, the President of Republic Financial Holdings Limited, Mr Nigel Baptiste, could not resist speaking to the bank’s financial muscle at a time the Bank of Ghana (BoG) is on the neck of banks to recapitalise by December this year.


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“Backed by a group asset base of US$10.1 billion, and a declared net profit after tax and non-controlling interest of  $142.4 million, brand Republic brings to bear the power of one serving many.

 “We bring to bear the expertise, profitability and diversity celebrated across 16 subsidiaries under one blue sky, in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Barbados, Suriname, and of course, right here in Ghana,’’ he said.

Investment

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With 181 years of history in its financial groin, Mr Baptiste said the bank was prepared to invest significantly in augmenting Ghanaian businesses to the level where they too could compete and lead in the West African and Sub-Saharan marketplace and even the world.

‘’We have several projects in the offing, more of which will be revealed in the fullness of time. One of the major projects that we are especially excited about, however, is our plan to invest GH¢400 million as part of our capital requirement, and as an additional signal to our investors, stakeholders and the nation, that Republic Bank is wholly committed to Ghana’s sustainable development,’’ he stated.

The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Anthony Jordan, said the new identity, Republic Bank, reflected the bank’s capabilities, innovation, energy and new found aggression.

“We aim to be a key player in the corporate banking sector and the preferred family bank in the retail circle. Republic Financial Holdings Limited has one of the best product and service offerings in the world; so part of our rebranding mandate is to enhance our product offering and introduce some of the features and benefits currently being enjoyed by customers in other Republic Bank territories in Ghana,” he added.

Mr Jordan also re-affirmed the bank’s commitment to making customer service the central focus of the bank.

“One of our primary focus as a bank is customer service. We intend to strengthen our relationship and partnership with our customers through a cogent analysis of their needs and ensure that we provide a range of quality products and services to meet these needs, as well as have a robust and well-trained body of staff  ready to meet these needs,’’ he mentioned.

CSR

The bank also unveiled its corporate social responsibility programme dubbed the “Power to Make A Difference.”

The programme, run on core pillars: the ‘Power to Care’, the ‘Power to Help’, the ‘Power to Learn’ and the ‘Power to Succeed’, will be a key pillar of the bank’s operations going forward.

HFC started in 1991 as a pilot housing financing programme by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

HFC’s early days

After close to three decades of its existence, it moved from a non-bank financial institution to a universal bank licensed by the BoG, providing its customers with a wide range of products and services, including mortgages, retail, corporate and commercial banking, investment and custody services. In 2003, the pilot housing financing programme became a universal bank with the trade name HFC Bank Ghana Limited.

In 2012, Republic Financial Holdings took 8.8 per cent shares in HFC Bank following a private placement to raise GH¢50 million. In 2015, HFC Bank became a subsidiary of Republic Financial Holdings Limited after the mandatory takeover sanctioned by the Ghana Stock Exchange.