#BringBackGNBank National Tour: Campaign hits Eastern Region as  Ghanaians call for the return of  GN Bank 

Story: Atta Kwaku  Boadi

The #BringBackGNBank national tour has hit the Eastern region of Ghana with a   call on the ruling government to  restore the licence  of the bank. 

The tour which started from Accra  on Sunday, May 27, 2024   got  to the Eastern region on Day 3. Places in the region visited where GN Bank branches are included; Akropong, Nsawam, Suhum and Anum Apapam.

Everywhere the team which comprises former GN Bank employees and managers of Groupe Nduom led by Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom visited, the customers of the bank  were happy to hear that the bank would be back soon to serve them. 

In Suhum for instance, a taxi driver who gave his name as Yaw Boakye noted how helpful the bank was to him as a customer.

“ I can’t wait to see the return of GN Bank. It really helped me. This taxi you see is an evidence of the bank’s support as it gave me loan”, he said. 

Chairman of Groupe Nduom, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom on Sunday, May 27, 2024 led a team of former employees of GN  Bank  and some managers of Groupe Nduom  to tour the country.  

Speaking to  Ghanaians, especially, the customers of the bank everywhere he went,  he  said,  the #BringBackGNBank  was  a national journey for local economic development.  He indicated that it was a repeat of a national  tour  he led   in 2018/19. 

Readers will  recall  the message to Ghanaians during that period  was to support indigenous banks and financial institutions in order to ensure Ghanaians have  control over the economy.  It was to demonstrate to the people that it was indigenous financial institutions, especially banks that had invested deep into the regions outside of regional capitals to bring safe and secure services. 

GN Bank with 300 branches became the bank with the widest retail footprint.  Back then, the tour was to show people how the spread of banking to their doorsteps was a sure way to promote economic development everywhere in the country. 

When the indigenous banks were collapsed in 2018 and 2019, according to financial watchers,  the local economy suffered,  and micro to medium businesses especially so because it was  those indigenous banks that supported them.  

Not surprisingly, the vacuum created by collapsing indigenous Ghanaian banks, Dr Nduom noted, had still not been filled. 

He further noted that, the space created cannot be filled by any foreign owned banks or the so-called High Street banks.

This national tour, according to the renowned entrepreneur, “is to reiterate the commitment of the bank’s  shareholders to the revival of the bank and their resolve to bring safe banking to the people’s doorstep everywhere in the country”.  

He added: “It is to explain the circumstances that led to the withdrawal of the bank’s licence and explain how the shareholders are working to return to the field”.

“It is the Groupe Nduom’s belief that by telling its story of support to the people, and the role the company can play to revive the local economy, the current government administration or the next one will listen to the people; and make sure that GN Bank comes back to serve its critical and useful role; with products and services in more than 300 locations countrywide”, he said.  

According to him, GN Bank did nothing wrong  for its licence to be revoked by the central bank. To this end, he further called on the ruling government to, as matter of urgency pay monies owed to Groupe Nduom companies.

He explained that if the government had paid the monies  owed to  GN Bank, and other Groupe Nduom companies, the bank wouldn’t have been declared insolvent.  

“We are calling on the current Akufo-Addo Administration to lift the embargo on payments to Groupe Nduom companies and the contractors whose contracts they had pre-financed.  That debt has ballooned to 7.1 billion Ghana cedis and is still climbing”, he said.

A demand letter for this amount, Today’s investigations showed  was served on the administration with copies to the president, vice president, chief of staff, attorney general, minister of finance, COCOBOD, GETFund, Ministries  of Works and Housing and Roads and Highways, etc. two months ago. 

Our checks with Groupe Nduom also show that no responses have been received from government or its agencies.

“Some claim it is because there is no money.  Even one quarter of that money will revive the GN companies.  The message, is that the solution is the payment of debts owed by government and its agencies”, Dr Nduom said.

According to Groupe Nduom “there are powerful forces in the current administration that don’t want to see it succeed especially in the financial system”.   

 Sources close to the bank told this reporter that, Dr. Nduom fully understands the fact that it must work with government administration, the current or the next one to make GN Bank’s re entry a successful one.

“This current national journey is to find out if the people want GN Bank back to serve them; and if the demand for its unique mobile and digital support banking services still exist”, Dr Nduom said. 

While the focus is on banking and GN Bank, Dr. Nduom said,  he will use this journey to tell the story of Groupe Nduom’s unique and unmatched delivery of a diversified portfolio of goods and services made in Ghana – production of rice, television, refrigerators, food containers, building materials, set top boxes, insurance, pension, hospitality, media all across the country; a true and committed stakeholder in the Ghanaian economy.

“Through this national journey, the will of the people will be manifest and shall prevail”, he said.

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