At Standard Chartered and then at Barclays, Patience Akyianu set the
pace for change, applying international best practice to the banks she
worked in. At Standard Chartered, she led the adoption of international
financial reporting standards (IFRS) and then led the full
implementation of the process while at Barclays. International best practice, transparency and discipline through
Akyianu’s time at Barclays helped transform the bank in Ghana from a
struggling institution suffering from losses in 2008 to one of the
leading banks in Ghana today.
“Strong financial discipline is important for Ghanaian banks to play on the same level playing field with other international banks,” says Akyianu.
“The bank had undergone a period of massive expansion in Ghana at the time that I joined,” Akyianu says. “We introduced strong controls, closed loopholes and eventually put a stop to the fraud that impacted the industry at the time. I firmly believe that these measures prevented many millions of dollars in fraudulent activity and operational losses.”
After working at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), EY and as a business manager at an international school in Ghana, Akyianu moved over to the banking sector after taking a position at Standard Chartered as financial controller in Accra and then chief financial officer in Johannesburg.
“While at Barclays, we have been able to leverage off of our regional and international ties, and we have also set the example for other banks to follow suit,” says Akyianu. “My goal is for Barclays Bank Ghana to become the go-to bank for our customers and the instinctive employer of choice for aspiring young talent. I would like to contribute more broadly to the socio-economic development of Ghana by championing some of the work required to develop the financial services industry as well as contribute to capacity building by continuing to provide coaching and mentoring support to young people.”