Aug 18, 2008, 6:45 AM
It is said one swallow does not make a summer but it is also a fact that great things start from small beginnings. The 10 years that Guaranty Trust Bank has operated in the Gambian financial industry have been a journey of small beginnings to becoming great things today.
Ten years ago (precisely on 5 March 2002) Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Limited started operations in The Gambia banking and financial sector as the 7th bank in the market, but by 2006 it has been able to climb the ladder of growth to becoming the 3rd bank in the industry, a position it has maintained among 13 banks today operating in The Gambia.
Its weeklong celebration, which included the unveiling of the Brikama Health Centre it refurbished, was climaxed with a grand reception and dinner tagged the ‘Chairman’s Dinner’ in honour of the exemplary manner the Chairman of the Board of Directors of GTB, Amadou Samba, has been able to steer the ship of the bank to its success story.
Held at Coco Ocean Resorts and Spa in Kerr Serign on 27 April, the Chairman’s Dinner brought together government ministers and dignitaries, senior officials from other banks and financial institutions, other members of the private sector, esteemed clients of GTBank, members of the press and a cross-section of the society to enjoy a convivial dinner together with the bank’s board of directors, management and staff and GTBank Group Head, who came all the way from Nigeria. The keynote address of all the profound speeches made on the occasion was delivered by Abdoulie M. Touray, Chairman and CEO of Sahel Invest Management International (SIMI).
An economist of many feathers up his sleeve, Mr Touray delivered an enlightening and inspirational speech on entrepreneurship, which touched on its significance and methodology as well as its being an antidote to widespread poverty in society.
GTBank, it is widely acknowledged, has been conducting innovative banking over the last ten years, registering sound financial performance (even though it started with a loss in its first nine months of operation), giving quality and unique products and services, meeting customer satisfaction, honouring corporate social responsibility, contributing to national economic growth, and achieving accolades of significant effects. That all put together has catapulted the bank to becoming the third largest bank in The Gambia in terms of balance sheet size and profitability.
It cannot for sure be said that because the bank has registered a decade of impressive results, it is going to position itself as the leading and best bank in The Gambia in the next ten years; but the fact also remains that a good and productive tree or plant is known by its fruits. A brief rundown of its categorised milestones over the years, therefore, shows how its performance speaks for itself.
Banking and Financial performance
On 5 March 2002, the Central Bank of The Gambia issued a Banking licence to Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Limited to operate in The Gambia.
On 6 March 2002, GTBank began formal banking operations at its Head Office on
In December 2002, the bank declared an operating loss for its nine-month operation. It was the first of its kind for a commercial bank to publicly declare its loss position.
In 2003 the bank declared a profit of D3.1 million from a loss position in the previous year.
In 2006 GTBank became No. 3 in The Gambia and has continued to be among the top three in terms of balance sheet size and profitability.
Products and services
In 2005 GTBank became the first bank to introduce Internet banking in The Gambia. It also became the first bank to introduce statement by email and GTBank Electronic Notification service (an instant notification of any transaction via email).
In 2006, the bank became the first commercial bank to introduce a local money transfer service called GTB Joni Joni; it also became the first commercial bank to introduce bill/ fee payment collection scheme.
In the same year it introduced Bankers’ Acceptance in The Gambian Money Market called GTB BA, a discountable trade finance instrument with higher yield than treasury bills.
In 2007 the bank became the second bank in The Gambia to install Automated Teller Machines (ATM). In the same year, three ATMs were also installed at its Kairaba,
In 2009, the bank obtained its licence as the first and only Principal Member of Visa International in The Gambia to render full array of Visa Card services. In the same year, it also became the first and only Gambian bank to obtain Visa Merchant Acquirer to deploy Visa-enabled Point Of
In 2010, it became the first bank to initiate and conclude the first-ever loan syndication in The Gambia financial market, and in 2011 it became the first and only bank in The Gambia tasked with the responsibility to collect taxes and duties for Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA).
Taking banking to the doorsteps of the people
In 2002 GTBank became the first commercial bank to locate its Head Office outside the city of
In 2003 the bank opened its 2nd branch in
In 2004 it opened its 3rd branch at Churchill’s Town in Serrekunda.
In 2006 it opened its 4th and 5th branches in Brikama and
In 2007 it opened its 6th branch at Kanifing ranking as the number two bank by the size of branch network.
In 2008 the bank opened its 7th and 8th branches at Kanifing and Latrikunda Sabiji.
In 2009 it opened branches at Jeshwang, Banjul II (
In 2010 it also opened its 14th and 15th branches at Basse and Bakau, thus becoming “the bank with the largest branch network with nationwide coverage”.
Corporate Social Responsibility
A highlight of some of its interventions in corporate social responsibility shows that in 2008, as a responsible corporate citizen, GTBank adopted a Family House at
In 2011, in meeting its corporate social responsibility, the bank gave D4 million to Gambia For Gold, an initiative of the Gambia Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports tasked with the responsibility to mobilize funding for the country’s national football teams.
In 2008 GTBank became the first bank to win the maiden edition of the GCCI Bank of the Year Award.
In 2009 the bank obtained its licence as the first and only Principal Member of Visa International in The Gambia to render full array of Visa Card services.
In the same year, it also became the first and only Gambian bank to obtain Visa Merchant Acquirer to deploy Visa-enabled Point Of