IDEAL Finance Holdings has taken over the assets of Ezi Savings and Loans and rebranded it as First Trust Savings and Loans, introducing a new culture and deepened capital base.
Private equity firm, Ideal Financial Holdings, which bought over Ezi and injected over GH¢8 million into its operations, said they had already introduced new technology, beefed up human capital are ready to grow FirsTrust into a universal bank in two years.
“We received the Bank of Ghana’s approval about a week ago and here we are inaugurating FirsTrust. This is part of the strategy to become a fully-fledged universal bank in two years and shareholders are ready to inject the capital to meet the criteria,” the Chief Executive Officer of Ideal Finance Holdings, Dr Nii Kotei Dzani, said on September 30.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the new entity, which is poised to extend financial support small businesses, especially patient capital.
Ideal Financial Holdings Limited is a non-bank financial institution with interest in finance, mining investment banking and insurance.
The new entity already has 11 branches, about four automated teller machines and boasts of about 60,000 clients, many of them a carry-over from the old entity.
Dr Dzani said FirsTrust would support small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) and corporate clients with long term financing of between five to 15 years, bridging the gap the commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions had left grey.
“We are looking at medium to long term funding for SMEs and corporate institutions, counting on our solid good governance and well-grounded parent company. Our strategy is to look at this kind of financing which is lacking in our market,” Dr Dzani said.
The Bank of Ghana advised owners and promoters of non-bank financial institutions should sit up and address operational challenges, warning that under-capitalised and poorly managed financial institutions would not be tolerated.
The Head of banking Supervision at the BoG, Mr Franklin Belnye, who read a speech on behalf of a deputy governor, said poorly managed NBFIs dampened the confidence of the investing public and undermined the financial system. He, therefore, called on players in the industry to improve on their technology and underwriting skills.
The Managing Director of FirsTrust, Mr Hubert Dake, said the company had plans to expand to other regional capitals and cities.