Alhassan Andani is serving as the President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, the industry's corporate association at a time of major upheaval in the structure and the regulatory framework of Ghana's universal banking industry. He is certainly the right man for the position. Simply put, Andani is one of Ghana's most experienced and accomplished professional bankers, his capabilities clearly illustrated by the way in which he has, in the space of a decade, transformed Stanbic Bank, where he is its managing director and chief executive, from a lower rung bank into one of the country's biggest and best banks.
He is leading Ghana's banking industry association at a time its members are going through trying times, with two erstwhile banks, Capital Bank and UT Bank having had their operating licenses withdrawn by the Bank of Ghana, because they become irreversibly insolvent and their liabilities and some selected assets being acquired by GCB Bank. The industry is suffering its highest non-performing loans (NPL) ratio since it required a huge financial bail-out from the World Bank and the Government of Ghana to avert its total collapse back in the 1980s.
This is a major reason why the Bank of Ghana, prodded by the International Monetary Fund is about to raise the minimum capital requirements for the banks significantly. And even as all this is happening, the BoG has been licensing a host of new banks, bringing the total currently to a record high 36 – before the revocation of the licenses of two banks brought the number back down to 34 again - even as the introduction of new genres of financial intermediation institutions, regulatory change and technological advancement are opening the doors to much more competition in the financial services industry than Ghana has ever witnessed before.
As the banking industry grouping, comprising all of the licensed banks in Ghana, GAB is busy trying to protect the industry's interests amid these major upheavals and its President inevitably is its point man in this regard. Importantly, Andani's exemplary career, his professional skills and achievements, and his deep knowledge of both the local financial markets and best practices at the global level place him in good stead to handle this responsibility. But beyond this, his performance and accomplishments as CEO of Stanbic Bank, which has risen to the stature of an industry leader under his guidance, gives him the confidence and the respect of his peers, subordinates, regulators, government policy makers, the international financial community and the general banking public alike.