Mr. Stephen Antwi-Asimeng, the new CEO of UT Bank has pledged the bank’s continued commitment to SMEs and to provide empowered partnerships with local businesses.
Analysts point to the bank's strong SME focus and the positive strategic changes taking place as being some of the reasons why several institutional investors could be showing an interest in the bank.
Speaking to a team of media practitioners at his office, Mr. Antwi-Asimeng said: "This Bank is known for SMEs. The bank is synonymous to SMEs in the country. Nobody does SME business better than we do. So this is something I intend to keep. What I would like to do is to have a very profitable SME bank that has empowered partnerships with all our SME partners. We support them in all aspects of their businesses. We don't just provide them with loan financing but also go with them along all the lines of the value chain".
Mr. Antwi-Asimeng believes that much of his success over the last several months has been "because we have leveled up with all our employees and stakeholders and they do understand that there is a road map and that road map will take us to the destination of a stable profitable bank once again".
Stephen is an experienced and influential banker who joined the bank at a difficult time and overseeing a positive turnaround of its fortunes. “The bank was no less affected by the challenges in the macro economic environment that translated into a higher cost of business and business failures - all translating into losses for banks". In fact UT Bank was particularly affected as its core business support base, small and medium enterprises, were the hardest hit. “Dumsor” took its toll on many small and medium sized businesses. Higher tariffs inflicted their share of the pain. Inflation was on the rise thus eroding the purchasing power of businesses and thereby increasing the cost of production.
Now, along with a new team of experienced bankers, Mr.Antwi-Asimeng is overseeing the implementation of a comprehensive turn-around plan that was put in place to restructure the bank, improve processes and procedures, make for more robust operations and raise capital.
Cutting down costs was critical to the plan and the reduction of the number of employees by over 100 was in response to that. As part of its efforts to increaserevenue,thebank introduced a Switchover campaign which had handsome rewards for potential customersand achieved a good level of success by the increase in customer base.
The turnaround plan is at itscritical stage. The focus now is to conclude discussions with interested forward looking investors to raise new capital in accordance with the plan. According to the CEO, "Right now, we are at the critical phase of raising capital and we are on course. We have very significant interested parties around the table and I am optimistic that we will succeed in raising the capital needed".