Sahel Sahara and Omni bank when merged will be called OmniBsic Bank Ghana Limited, Deputy Managing Director of Sahel Sahara bank has said.
Currently, the two banks have set October to complete all the necessary documentation on the merger and submit to the central bank for review.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with JoyBusiness, Kojo Aboagye – Debrah said the two banks decided to merge because they share common values, disclosing the new entity’s name.
“The merged name is going to be OmniBisc Bank Limited with the same blue being maintained as the main colour. This is because this is not a false marriage but an understanding that we have decided to have among us. We share in the same values and have all been able to operate as banks with no issues with the regulator.”
He added, “But the name is subject to the central bank’s approval, as that is part of the documentation which is going to be submitted to the regulator which has the sole power to either approve or not. But we are optimistic that the BOG will agree to our proposal and approve it for us. The heads of terms that have been agreed by both parties are for the name OmniBsic to be used.”
Mr Aboagye Debrah said, “we are blue and Omni is also blue and for Ghanaians, we are happy to say BSIC. We are currently represented in 14 countries and when you go to Ivory Coast you will see BSIC at the airport there but in Ghana, our trading name is Sahel Sahara Bank because a lot of people cannot pronounce the name we have. So the francophone word is what has been translated but the name is Bsic.”
No job losses in 36 months
Meanwhile, the two banks have given the strongest indication yet that there will be no job losses due to the merger.
With the focus of the new entity still going to be on the SME market due to the huge potential and impact on the economy of Ghana, the two banks have agreed to only appraise their staff after 36 months.
This then means that the jobs of both permanent and temporal employees are safe under the merger.
“According to our heads of terms, we have agreed that there will be no job losses with regards to both permanent and temporal staff for the next 36 months which is 3years. Even if there will be any job cuts it depends on performance management. Staff have a task to perform and at the end of the 3 years, they will have to be appraised.
And again we will be looking at ethics because we expect that people will behave with the highest integrity since we are dealing with customer’s money.
Remember that banks revolve around trust and staff will be required to tow that line by making sure that staff are able to maintain such ethics and we hope that even after the 36 months they will keep their jobs,” the Deputy Managing Director told JoyBusiness.
When it comes to plans to expand and even employ more, Mr Aboagye Debrah noted that “we will be expanding as a bank and we don’t intend to have any member of staff to lose their jobs.”
The current staff strength of the two banks will be at 614 employees after the merger as Omni comes on board with about 352 permanent staff and Sahel 262 permanent staff.
Today, OmniBank serves about 125,000 clients via its 29 branch network and 25 ATMs across the country while BSIC Ghana also serves about 30,000 customers via its 17 branch network and 17 ATMs across Ghana.