European Investment Bank (EIB) and ECOBANK Transnational Incorporated (ETI) today signed a facility for EUR 50 million to part-finance the growth of the Ecobank Group. The EIB, European Union's long-term lending institution, will support ECOBANK’s expansion program, through the provision of stable long-term finance.
The project is fully consistent with the objectives of both institutions. It will:
- foster regional integration in the financial sector through support to a dynamic, African, international banking group,
- enable the implementation of ECOBANK’s retail strategy which will extend the availability of credit and financial services to a larger segment of the population in West, Central, Eastern and Southern African countries
- support private sector projects, particularly in the more difficult countries of the region, that the EIB cannot reach directly.
Commenting on the facility, ECOBANK Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Arnold Ekpe, said “it strengthens our commitment to bring ECOBANK to the citizens of our target countries. It will help us reduce costs and improve efficiency through the first Shared Service Centre in West and Central Africa. The project will also help us achieve our dual mission which is: on the one hand to build a World Class African Bank and, on the other hand, to contribute to the economic and financial integration of Africa.”
Guus Heim, West Africa Regional Director for the European Investment Bank, said ‘’it will assist the development of the Borrower. It will also allow the EIB to support the financial sector in some of the post-conflict countries in which ECOBANK operates. The project also aims at supporting ECOBANK’s retail strategy, including investments in technology allowing for a lower overall cost of financial intermediation, which will ultimately allow the provision of financial services to poor or remote customers. At the same time, the project aims at fostering the development of ETI’s private sector financial operations.’’
Incorporated in 1985, ECOBANK Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent company of the largest independent regional banking group in Africa. The ECOBANK Group currently operates in 20 African countries, namely: Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. In addition, ETI is listed on the stock exchanges in Lagos, Accra and Abidjan (BRVM). The Group has over 7,500 employees in over 450 branches. ECOBANK is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organisations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals
About European Investment Bank
Created in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, the European Investment Bank (EIB) finances capital projects that further the core objectives of the European Union (EU). It also participates in the implementation of the EU’s cooperation policy towards third countries which have cooperation or association agreements with the Union.
Since 1963, the EIB has also been an active partner in the development of many African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Its operations in these countries form an integral part of the range of financial aid facilities made available to them by the EU under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in 2000 between the EU and the ACP countries. These contribute to sustainable economic and social development and to poverty reduction. In addition to the loans that it grants from its own resources, the Bank manages the Investment Facility (IF), a revolving fund financed by the EU Member States. The IF offers various financing instruments aimed at supporting technically, environmentally, financially and economically sound projects in the private or commercial public sectors. In 2006, the EIB's lending in the ACP countries totaled EUR 745 million.