With over 30 banks to serve this relatively small population, emerging as a leader in the Ghanaian banking sector is no easy feat. On March 15th 1972, UMB Bank (UMB) opened its doors to the Ghanaian public and began its journey as one of the premier financial institutions in the country.
From its inception as a local business, UMB established itself as the premier merchant bank, serving large, medium and small-scale enterprises. At the time, the relatively young republic of Ghana required a nimble and innovative financial institution to support the growing private sector. UMB served this important purpose and in so doing, set the standard for excellent corporate banking.
Utilising the relationship-banking model, UMB nurtured the development of many businesses in Ghana. From providing critical financing to valuable advice, UMB was instrumental in the growth and eventual success of many of Ghana’s current corporate giants. When UMB expanded into retail banking in 2005, it built upon its sound corporate banking expertise to serve the retail customer.
Past successes point to a strong future
Through a commitment of innovation and customer service excellence, UMB celebrated its 45-year history as one of the top banks in Ghana. After having built a well-deserved reputation as an exceptional corporate bank and as it develops its growing strength in the retail sector, UMB now looks to the future by creating novel financial products and services for the growing and evolving Ghanaian population.
Supporting Ghanaian business
The private sector of Ghana is a dynamic and multi-faceted one. Many analysts point out that the majority of the private sector – which is ultimately the main driver of the Ghanaian economy – is the small and medium scale enterprises (SME) sector. Having always been a champion for all categories of businesses in Ghana, especially SMEs, UMB understood the importance of supporting this sector to further the growth of the country. In 2016, UMB created the ‘UMB Centre for Businesses’ specifically to serve the SME customer. The UMB Centre for Businesses is a full-service financial centre for SMEs that, in addition to providing traditional banking services, offers quick access to financing, business training and financial advice. UMB has opened three UMB Centres for Businesses in key market areas throughout Ghana and there has been very positive feedback from the SME sector.Former President of Ghana, H.E. Jerry John Rawlings (third from right); UMB CEO, Mr John Awuah (second from left); UMB Board Chairperson, Mrs Elizabeth Zormelo; UMB Board Member, Mr Mawuli Hedo; and Traditional Ghanaian Chief Togbi Sri III and his wife at UMB 45th Anniversary Celebration Gala
Following up on its commitment to the SME sector and the further development of Ghana, in 2017 UMB announced its partnership with the Ghanaian government to help provide up to $100m in financing to support the Ghanaian government’s ‘One District, One Factory initiative’. As part of the Ghanaian government’s national development agenda, the One District, One Factory initiative was created to support the establishment of one factory in each of the 216 districts in Ghana. Recognising the significance of this initiative for the development of the Ghanaian economy, UMB took the additional step of creating the ‘UMB PPP Incubator Centre’, a centre dedicated to fulfilling UMB’s obligations under the One District, One Factory initiative and other Public Private Partnership arrangements. The UMB PPP Incubator Centre will now assist companies that want to participate in the Ghanaian government’s One District, One Factory initiative by providing them with financing, financial advice and information.
Corporate social responsibility
It has been a very rich and fulfilling 45 years for UMB. The bank has used every opportunity to set itself apart from its competitors, to demonstrate its unique and hard-earned capabilities to serve the corporate and retail sectors of Ghana. As an acknowledgment of the support that the bank has received, helping facilitate it’s 45 years of success, UMB partnered with its investment banking affiliate, UMB Capital to create UMB Foundation, an independent philanthropic organisation dedicated to creating meaningful social and civic impact in Ghana. In the sage words of Henry Ford, “a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business” and UMB is determined to give back to the country of Ghana that has contributed so greatly to its success. With a mandate to achieve sustainable impact in the areas of health, education and the celebration and promotion of Ghanaian heritage and culture, the UMB Foundation will be the vehicle by which UMB can implement its corporate social responsibility initiatives.
From its solid foundation as a merchant bank 45 years ago to the formidable and innovative full service financial institution that it is today, UMB is a bank that is changing the banking sector in Ghana. With its eye on the future, UMB is actively pursuing new technologies to push the boundaries of how consumers interact with their financial institutions. In addition to its growing number of physical branches, UMB is significantly investing in the digital space so that it can offer its customers the latest in banking convenience. Furthermore, UMB’s Corporate, Business, Private, Personal and Internet Banking departments are able to adequately address the financial needs of various segments of the Ghanaian market. Additionally, UMB’s Trade, Treasury and Credit departments complement their broad range of financial services with their unique and innovative banking products. With thirty-two branches, three UMB Centre for Businesses, one UMB PPP Incubator Centre, a vast network of ATMs and exciting new products in development, UMB is poised to achieve continued success in the many years to come.Ghana Honorable Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Robert Ahomka Lindsay, UMB Board Members and UMB EXCO at opening of UMB Centre for Businesses in Madina, Accra