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Fidelity – Banking on Success in Ghan

Fidelity Bank is one of the leading banks in Ghana today. Formerly Fidelity Discount House, the company has been operating profitably for eight years and, in 2006, became the 22nd bank to be licensed by the Bank of Ghana.

Fidelity’s emergence as a full service bank has seen the fulfillment of the dream of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Edward Effah.  Under his leadership, Fidelity has, since its inception in 1998, successfully established itself as a leader in its markets in Ghana in terms of reputation, profitability and assets under management.  Owned jointly by a combination of Ghanaian and foreign individual and institutional investors and the Bank’s Executives and under the management of a dynamic, high-calibre team, Fidelity Bank today offers a comprehensive range of products and services to meet the banking and financial needs of both its existing and potential customers.

ReConnect Africa spoke to Edward Effah, formerly based in London as the Group Risk Manager of a derivatives and foreign exchange trader, about the challenges of returning home and Fidelity’s emergence as a highly successful financial business. 

RCA:   As a Chartered Accountant in a successful career with Coopers & Lybrand and then with Rudolf Wolff in the City of London, what inspired you to return to Ghana to set up Fidelity?

EE: A combination of factors inspired my return to set up Fidelity. Key among these was the desire to contribute my quota to Ghana, where the achievement and the returns expected are realisable as you are operating in your own country, and where the sky is the limit.

RCA: Fidelity started as a Discount House and was recently granted its banking license. What have been the benefits to your customers of making this transition to a full bank?

EE:  Fidelity as a Discount House could only offer her customers some limited services as she was not a bank. With the acquisition of the banking license, Fidelity Bank now provides her customers with a one stop financial solution.  The benefits include the provision of current accounts, mortgages, auto loans, other credit facilities, trade offerings, debit cards among others which make banking convenient.  

Our vision is for Fidelity to be a world-class financial institution that provides superior returns for all stakeholders. That means making it the best place to bank for our customers, the best place to invest for our shareholders, the best place to work for our employees and the best benchmark for our regulators to use.

RCA: What would you say differentiates Fidelity Bank from the other banks in Ghana?

EE:  What make Fidelity Bank unique is her deep understanding of Ghana’s banking industry and the adoption of a customised solution-driven approach in meeting the needs of her varied clientele. Additionally, we have invested heavily in technology to ensure that Fidelity is at par with the best in the world.

As a truly Ghanaian bank, we are able offer quick solutions on all banking needs required. Our product portfolio is wide and, therefore, there is product choice.  In addition, Fidelity Bank offers a professional personal service to all her customers and this is because we believe each customer is unique.   We price our products fairly and provide exceptional service to our customers.

Like any major full-service bank, we understand that faster, easier banking can affect the way you run your business and your life. We dare to be different. We're highly experienced, motivated and dedicated to personalised service and we take pride in our cutting-edge product lines and dedicate substantial resources to developing new and better ways to enhance individual and corporate banking experience. Our products provide the best quality and value because we are guided by the belief that “good enough is never good enough”.

RCA: Fidelity Bank has recently recruited further staff. What kind of people do you seek to recruit into the bank and what experience would be seen as particularly useful?

EE:  Each position within the Bank has defined minimum job requirements and specifications and competencies. Our recruitment is guided by that. However, we recognize that in a highly competitive environment such as ours, customer-focused, innovative, forward-thinking, team oriented and analytically astute employees serve as catalysts for organizational effectiveness, and these are the people we seek to recruit. In addition to looking out for people with an appreciable level of intelligence, we look out for people with the potential to be groomed into higher positions – and that is what our Graduate Recruitment Program focuses on.

RCA: Many non-resident Ghanaians and foreign investors are looking for safe and reliable means of investing money in Ghana. How can Fidelity help to address these needs?

EE:  We have a wide range of wealth creation products such as interest bearing Fixed Term deposit, call Account and Money Markets products that Ghanaians abroad can buy. These products are continuously being improved to stay relevant to customers. In addition, Fidelity Bank has two sister firms i.e. Fidelity Asset Management Ltd, whose main objective is to create value for personal as well as corporate investors by investing in the capital and money markets, and Fidelity Capital Partners Ltd who provide specialized venture capital fund management services. 

For further information about Fidelity Bank’s services and career opportunities: www.fidelitybank.com.gh

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