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Ecobank wins world's best frontier market award

By The Citizen

Ecobank Group has been named the 'World's Best Frontier Markets Bank' in 2013 by the Global Finance Magazine, a world-renowned publication that focuses on emerging market insights and intelligence.

The bank said in a statement that the Group also won the magazine's 'Best Bank in Africa' award for the second year running.

Ecobank's Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Group Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Albert Essien, received both awards on behalf of the Group at the weekend, at the ceremony held in Washington DC, United States of America, which also coincided with the yearly meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund.

These awards, according to Global Finance, were based on Ecobank's performance over the past year, as well as other subjective criteria, including reputation and management excellence, while selections were made after extensive consultations with bankers, corporate finance executives and analysts worldwide.

'In light of the uncertainty facing developed markets, and with emerging markets struggling to maintain their growth rates, the corporate world is beginning to take notice of frontier markets as a new area of opportunity.

'These markets are in a position comparable to where emerging markets were 20 years ago and they are poised for serious growth. Ecobank has demonstrated vision and confidence in Africa's long-term growth potential, bringing mobile banking services to previously unbanked frontier markets,' Global Finance's Publisher, Joseph D. Giarraputo, said.

Also, five Ecobank's affiliates emerged as 'the Best Emerging Market Banks in Africa', namely Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea (Conakry), and Togo.

The criteria for choosing these winners included growth in assets, profitability, strategic relationships, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative products.

However, the bank's Group Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Tanoh, said: 'Strong economic growth, a youthful population and increasing consumption make Africa an attractive investment proposition and Ecobank is strategically positioned to benefit from many of these growth drivers.

'These awards are testament to the success of our pan-African vision and we continue to invest for the long-term, with a focus on customer service innovation which, we believe, will shape the future of banking in Africa.'