By Peter Egwuatu
Guaranty TrustÂ Â Bank (GTBANK) Plc, the first bank in Nigeria to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, has achieved another featÂ with its recent recognition by the pre-eminent international finance magazine, Euromoney, as the â€œBest Bank in Nigeriaâ€ at the 2009 Euromoney Awards for Excellence Dinner in London last week. Â Â Â .
Guaranty Trust Bankâ€™s Deputy Managing Director, Segun Agbaje received the award in London on behalf of the Bank.
In recognizing GTBank for the award of â€œBest Bank in Nigeriaâ€, Euromoney highlighted its leadership in the financial sector saying, â€œGTBANK was one of the first banks to institute International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) a move that has been followed by others.â€Â Euromoney was also particularly impressed with GTBâ€™s expansion into the unbanked market making it less reliant on a narrow base of customers in the major cities. it noted that GTBank has been good at expanding retail lending to those without official banking relationships and is beginning to distribute advances and take deposits through mobile banks in rural areas.
This feat is yet another attestation to Guaranty Trust Bankâ€™s growing profile on the African Continent and the commitment of all members of the GTBank team to ensuring that the Bankâ€™s core values of integrity, professionalism and superior service delivery are maintained at all times. GTBankâ€™s ever growing list of achievements over the years serve to enhance the bankâ€™s reputation as one of Nigeriaâ€™s most profitable and fastest growing banks and reinforces the AA- (double A minus) by Fitch; and BB- (double B minus) by Standard & Poorâ€™s – the best ratings assigned by the two international rating agencies to any Nigerian or West African-based bank. Remarkably, the Standard & Poorâ€™s rating is the same as Nigeriaâ€™s sovereign rating.
In terms of bottom line performance GTBank has led the way with a â€œ34% increase in net profits for the awarding period among Nigerian banksâ€. Furthermore, Euromoney noted the more sustainable nature of the banks earnings profile, â€œGTBank was one of the best at avoiding margin lending in the industry and has increased its liquidity position exceptionally wellâ€. Total assets and contingents for the bank during the period also rose by over 37 per cent.
Other winners that were announced included HSBC wining the â€œGlobal Best Bankâ€ award, and Credit Suisse scooping â€œGlobal Best Investment Bankâ€. Guaranty Trust Bank currently has five banking subsidiaries established outside of Nigeria – Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia)Ltd, Guaranty Trust Bank (Sierra Leone) Ltd, Guaranty Trust Bank (Ghana) Ltd, Guaranty Trust Bank (Liberia) Ltd and Guaranty Trust Bank (United Kingdom) Ltd. The Bank services its customers from 154 branches in Nigeria, as well as other branches of its subsidiaries throughout the region. It also has five non banking subsidiaries namely; Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc, which provides insurance services in Nigeria; GTB Registrars Limited, a securities registrar; GTHomes Limited, which provides mortgage services;Â GTB Asset ManagementÂ Limited, which providesÂ asset management and other investmentÂ services and GTB Finance B.V., a finance subsidiary located in The Netherlands.