- Title: TOGO: Ecobank expands operations with new $30 million Pan African Center in Lome
- Date: 28th July 2011
- Summary: SLATE INFORMATION
- Embargoed: 12th August 2011 13:00
- Location: Togo, Togo
- Country: Togo
- Topics: Finance
- Reuters ID: LVAZPDRP0KKMO29CI8L52ZXXUFE
- Story Text: Ecobank Pan Africa recently inaugurated its 30 million US dollars new headquarters complex in Togo's capital Lome at a colorful ceremony, that was attended by Togo's president Faure Gnassingbe and other government officials.
The Pan African Centre as the new headquarters are known, overlooking the Atlantic ocean is a seven storey complex and is said to provide one of the most modern office environments in the region.
The Togo based Ecobank is the only banking group with a presence in more than 30 African countries and recently won an award as the " Best Bank in Africa" at the annual Euromoney Awards for Excellence, now in its 20th year.
"It is a mark of honor and recognition for the work that the whole Ecobank team has been doing in building a Pan African bank, " said Ecobank CEO Arnold Ekpe of the bank's win at the opening ceremony of the new center.
Originally a corporate bank, Ecobank has been expanding its retail business as it moves across the fast-growing African continent.
The bank now operates in about 30 countries, having grown from a 15-country operation in 2005 after an acquisition spree.
Ecobank directors and shareholders held their 23rd General Assembly at their new headquarters in Lome.
According to the the bank's directors, Ecobank's performance has improved significantly in 2010, after a 2009 hit by global economic conditions and systemic challenges of the market.
In 2010, the group had a net income of 76.5 million US dollars with an average growth of 16 percent, with an increase of deposits of over 22 percent.
One Ecobank's founders, Ivorian, Raphe Loko says the success of the bank is down to an early sound financial plan.
"Ecobank had the chance to grow very quickly but don't forget when creating the bank, the founding fathers had a secure financial plan. Before distributing the profits amongst the founders, the bank has to achieve a targeted profit percentage. At the same time, we speak with the same voice, if a founding member is against a proposed project, then the project does gets the go ahead," he said.
Earlier this year, Ecobank opened an office in London with a plan to eventually employ 20 to 25 bankers.
The bank is also planning to expand in New York, Mozambique and Angola, where it already has a representative office, but not a full banking presence, as well as Equatorial Guinea, where it awaiting a full banking licence.
The bank is also awaiting regulatory clearance for an office in China.
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