#National News

Standard Chartered Bank CEO says divesting shares is to invest for larger opportunities 

Apr 21, 2022, 3:27 PM | Article By: Adama Tine

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Standard Chartered Bank Gambia Ltd, Chuks Ugha, in an interview with Kerr Fatou, has disclosed that the only reason why the bank is divesting its shares in the country is because of the scale of the country. “What the Bank is doing is to exit smaller markets so that we can put funds together and invest in markets that have bigger and larger opportunities.”

 

The CEO added that another reason in divesting its shares in The Gambia is because of the scale of the country, noting the move has nothing to do with the current economic situation of the country. 

According to him, the bank has taken a decision to sell its shares in The Gambia to potential buyers. However, he said the Central Bank has been informed and they are aware. Even in the process of divesting, he noted, it is going to be regulated and approved by the Central Bank. 

If already there are potential buyers’ line-up, the CEO said: “There is no view on who the potential buyers will be right now, but I will like to assure our customers of the safety of their savings and a smooth transition if a potential buyer comes.”

In addition, he explained that part of the value that the bank will bring to any potential buyer is the customer base. He said it is the interest of the Bank to make sure that the customer base is retained. 

Furthermore, he said: “We would make sure that the transition from these current shareholders to the new shareholders will be as painless as possible and apart from that it’s the proper and correct thing to do.”

The CEO pointed out that the Central Bank of the Gambia as a regulator, will ensure that there is a smooth transition from one buyer to another, with the impact on customers as minimal as possible to ensure safety of the funds of the shareholders.

“We have an obligation to our staff to make sure they are cared for. The bank has already given instructions that nobody’s salary will be reduced, no benefit will be affected, every staff will continue to enjoy the same terms and conditions they have been enjoying so far,” he revealed.

Putting more emphasis on whether customers can still access their savings, the CEO said: “If you go to any Standard Chartered branch, you can access your money. I have been to most of the branches already and everything is working normal. It is not my wish for customers to withdraw their money out but if that’s their decision, I will guarantee you that our branches are open, they will remain open and our staff are there to provide for customers,” he concluded.

This development followed the public notice by the Central Bank of the Gambia conveying that  Standard Chartered Bank Gambia Ltd., based on the Standard Chartered Bank Group’s decision wants to divest their business interest in The Gambia.

The decision according to the CBG statement is in line with the Group’s new business model and strategic repositioning, which requires divestiture from a number of African countries, including The Gambia and a few countries in the Middle East.

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