June 22, 2009

Savannah Bank pledges speedy return of operations

By Peter Egwuatu
Savannah Bank of Ni geria Plc has promised all stakeholders that it will ensure a speedy conclusion of the necessary processes that are required to re-open the bank to the general public.

Richard Abrahams, former Bank of America’s representative in Savannah Bank and chairman of the interim Board of Directors of the bank, noted that the hand over event that took place at the bank’s headquarters on Tuesday, 9 June 2009 marked the takeover of the bank headquarters and the phased handing over of all its branches nationwide in preparation for commencement of full banking operations.“We seize this opportunity to reassure our customers, business partners and all stakeholders of our unwavering commitment to them, even as we go through the processes necessary for the resumption of full banking operations,” he said.

The chairman listed some of the steps critical to the re-opening of the bank to include phased takeover of the branches of the bank from the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), assets and liabilities verification and deposit verification among others.Abrahams promised to keep the customers and other stakeholders informed of the bank’s every activity as he also asked for their continued patience, support and understanding.

The Board of Savannah Bank expressed their gratitude to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for his respect for the rule of law; the judiciary for living up to its call as the last hope of the common man; the esteemed customers and business partners for their patience, support and understanding; and the Nigerian media for their sustained interest in the matter. The bank also commended  the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and NDIC for their cooperation.

On 9 June 2009, in a ceremony well attended by all stakeholders and the general public, the NDIC and CBN handed over the bank to the owners of Savannah Bank of Nigeria Plc.

At the handing over event by the NDIC, the leader of the majority stakeholders in the bank, Chief Jim Nwobodo   said “ Let me assure the general public that Savannah Bank has re-emerged and better positioned to render world class banking services. Though the financial services industry has changed significantly in the last seven years, we are confident that the new Board of Directors to be led by Mr. Richard Abraham and a new management team will deliver exceptional banking services built on trust and integrity.”

Nwobodo further said ,“ In line with this, the bank has put together a very strong team of advisers in virtually all business and technical areas to assist in managing the takeover process as well as the business planning activities preparatory to the formal re-launch of the new bank.”

Speaking also, the interim Chairman of Savannah Bank, Mr. Abraham said he has been with the bank for over 30 years and promised that the bank will be run in a more professional way compared to other banks in the country.

According to him , “ Today merely marks the commencement of the takeover process of the bank’s asset from the NDIC which has kept these assets in trust over the last few years. The process of re- launching the new Savannah Bank will handled in a very deliberate manner in order to ensure that we build a world class institution that can compete favourably with an other bank in Nigeria and indeed globally.”