Awards for Excellence 2006: Best Bank in Ghana: Barclays Bank
Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa and enjoyed a 4.3% growth in GDP in 2005. But much of that growth was driven by the boom in gold prices and the agricultural economy remains weak. The country is heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance.
Barclays Bank is rapidly catching up with the largest bank in the country, Ghana Commercial Bank, in terms of scale – its assets grew 9.4% in 2005 and profits grew 11.2%. But what marks Barclays Bank out is the degree to which it outclasses Ghana Commercial Bank and other rivals in its product offerings, with 90% of its retail base having ATM cards. The bank is generally regarded as the most technologically advanced in the country and has close relationships with leading corporates. It is also the market leader in custody for Ghana, with about two-thirds of the market. Having operated in a fairly narrow range of markets until recently, Barclays Bank is now making the most of its universal bank licence and can be expected to increase its corporate finance activity in the coming years.