Hakim Ouzzani, the new Managing Director of Societe Generale (SG) Ghana, has assured customers and shareholders that the bank will take strategic steps to increasing its market share and deepen financial inclusion.
“We would as a strategy follow practices that promote efficient market penetration in order to increase our market share within the Ghanaian banking industry,” he told clients at the farewell cocktail at Kempinski Hotel, Accra for the outgoing Managing Director, Sionle Yeo.
He added that the bank will strife hard to be cost effective in its operations and ensure speedy response to clients’ financial needs, taking into consideration good risk management and control systems, good corporate governance and vigilance.
“We would make it the culture where SG Ghana would effectively reach out to its clients and the general public to enhance the bank’s business development programmes, and to provide efficient banking service to our clients,” he said.
Mr. Ouzzani promised to pursue an open door policy, as his predecessor did, so that customers can reach him with their needs, problems and suggestions to enable the bank and customers move their businesses forward.
To the staff, he assured that staff welfare and human development would be very high on his agenda because “you and the clients are the assets of the bank. In this regard, training, fairness, hard work, loyalty and dedication to duty and team spirit will be the hallmark of our business development agenda,” he added.
The outgoing Managing Director, Sionle Yeo –who has been appointed the Regional Director for Central Africa responsible for six subsidiaries including Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Cameroon and Congo Brazzaville– noted that since 2016, the bank has embarked on massive expansion and refurbishment programmes to its branch network to enable it bring banking closer to clients and create a congenial atmosphere for the client to transact their business and increase the bank’s business and profits.
“For our bank, 2017 was clearly a good year, materialising the success of the transformational strategy designed in 2015 and implemented in 2016. During the period under review we accomplished the transforming programme, strong global transaction banking, new initiatives at human resources, operational risk and permanent control, and exemplary performance in retail banking,” he said.
He added that many new products were launched and new distribution channels like the mobile branch were availed to customers, increasing the convenience of the offers and outreach to customers and the loyalty of clients.
He pointed out that these programmes and products translated into a strong yearly commercial performance. In 2017, the bank’s loan book grew by over 42percent for both retail and corporate, translating into a steady market share gains from 3percent to over 4percent in 2017.
“Our key objective as a bank is to ensure the growth and sustainability of our SME and corporate clients that will propel the economy of Ghana to greater heights. It is therefore my hope that SG operations in Ghana will open up the economy to other French investments in the country,” he added.
Alexandre Maymat, Director of International Banking of Africa, Mediterranean Basin and Overseas of the Societe Generale Group, noted that since Societe Generale took over the administration of the bank 15 years ago, the performance has so far been impressive.
“This is because the bank has recorded a lot of growth in business and profits over the years. SG Ghana is now truly a local bank with international support. I am happy to learn that over the past 15 years, SG Ghana has made great strides in the economic development of this country,” he said.
According to Mr. Maymat, Societe Generale Paris and Societe Generale Ghana have financed quite a number of prokects for the government in the various sectors of the economy to the tune of US$653million from 2008 to 2018.
“This excludes the Societe Generale Group’s participation in the cocoa syndication from 1997 to date and the financing of Parliamentary and Council of State car loans as well as the financing of the government’s ‘One District, One Factory Project’,” he added.
Mr. Ouzzani is assuming this new position as Managing Director of SG Ghana with enormous banking experience. He has held various positions within the Societe Generale Group. Until his appointment as Managing Director of SG Ghana, he was Supervisor for the bank and has been a member of the Board of SG Ghana since 2017.
He is presently the Senior Executive Regional Manager with Societe Generale International Banking Financial Services in charge of Cameroon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Equitorial Guinea, Ghana and Guinea Conakry.