Soros Economic Development Fund Invests in GN Bank to Promote Financial Inclusion for Ghana’s Unbanked

ACCRA—GN Bank Ghana has secured a $9 million (USD) equity investment from the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) to expand banking services in rural Ghana and reach one million new customers. 

SEDF’s investment supports GN Bank’s mission to encourage a savings culture and provide safe, first-class banking services to every Ghanaian through the creation of the largest network of banking locations in the country. A 2011 study by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor estimates that 66 percent of Ghana’s adult population is unbanked with only 5.1 bank branches per 100,000 adults.

“Since 1998 SEDF has been making program-related investments to reach unbanked and underbanked populations across the globe,” said Neal DeLaurentis, SEDF’s Financial Inclusion sector head. “We were very attracted to GN Bank because its business model focuses on providing a safe place for rural populations to invest their monies, earn interest, and have access to other financial products and services heretofore not available to them.” 

GN Bank Ghana—founded in 1997 and licensed to operate as a savings and loans company in 2006—currently serves customers nationwide through 103 branches, employing close to 1,500 employees. GN Bank employs 700 mobile bankers who go on foot daily into markets across Ghana to collect deposits and administer loans. 

“GN Bank is excited to work with SEDF, a prestigious impact investor that understands our mission to go where others won’t to extend full banking services to the Ghanaian people,” said Patrick Anumel, chief executive officer of GN Bank. “Like us, SEDF is prepared to walk the talk on financial inclusion by investing in the brick and mortar banking outlets that allow our mobile bankers to serve our clients, face to face, every day, wherever they are throughout the country.”

GN Bank recently obtained a universal banking license from the Bank of Ghana. The investment requires approval by the Bank of Ghana. GN Bank Ghana was formerly known as First National Bank.

The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) is a $350 million not-for-profit investment fund that seeks to build sustainable businesses that can generate economic opportunities and access to affordable and essential products and services for underserved populations. SEDF is part of the Open Society Foundations.