Standard Chartered CEO assures customers as group announces exit

2906

By Tabora Bojang

The chief executive officer of the Standard Chartered Bank Gambia has assured clients that their financial savings and other services will not be compromised in the wake of the bank’s planned exit from Gambia.

The global banking group, which has over 120 years of existence in The Gambia, announced over the weekend that it is commencing a strategic move to fully exit some African markets including the Gambia ‘to enable it redirect resources to markets with larger growth potentials.’

ADVERTISEMENT

“We would have been happy to continue here [Gambia] if the economy was large enough to meet our growth aspirations.  We are exiting because the Bank has aligned its strategy to focus on bigger markets but contrary to what is being spread, it has nothing to do with the economic situation of The Gambia,” CEO Chuks Ugha told Kerr Fatou media.

He disclosed that the bank’s planned exit from the country is subject to regulatory approval with the Central Bank of the Gambia to ensure there is a smooth transition to another buyer with minimal or no impact on customers.

“The process has not even started; we are only at the point of making the regulatory announcement. The process of discussing with new buyers and getting regulatory approval is still a long way down the line. So there is absolutely no reason for panic. Our liquidity ratios are fantastic and if you go to any Standard Chartered branch, you can access all your money. I have given instruction that they should allow customers withdraw their money and the ATMs are fully loaded. Our branches are open and will remain open and our staff will be there to provide services and clarifications and they can access any services because nothing changes before we get a new buyer. But even when we get a new buyer, proper communications will be made.”

CEO Ugha also assured staff that the bank has already given instructions that their salaries and other benefits will not be affected during the transition.

“Every staff will continue to enjoy the same accommodation they have been enjoying” he assured.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of the Gambia too issued a statement on the matter.

It reads: “The public and customers and the public that Standard Chartered Bank is a well-managed, highly liquid, and well capitalized bank, which will continue its normal operations in full compliance with the Central Bank of The Gambia’s regulatory requirements. It will be noted that Standard Chartered Bank is one of the largest banks in this country with a long history going back more than a hundred years, during which the bank contributed enormously to the socio-economic development of The Gambia and will continue to do so in years to come.

The bank’s customers and the public are hereby urged to be mindful of messages going around in the social media regarding the divestiture process, details of which are hereby clarified, informing customers and the general public that Standard Chartered Bank Gambia Ltd will continue to operate normally.”