If you reside in Nigeria, you should be very familiar with the financial institution Guaranty Trust Bank, also known as GTBank or more simply GTB. At the bank branches, you see the square orange logo with a much smaller white square and the letters GTBank.
Recently, however, this hasn’t been the case. While the square orange and much smaller white square remains intact, the letters have changed. Instead of the regular GTBank, what you see now is GTCO.
What happened? Was there any sort of merging or acquisition the public didn’t know about? What is the meaning of GTCO? These questions and more have been on the lips of many Nigerians. If you’re looking for answers, you’re on the right page.
In this article, I’ll be explaining everything you need to know about GTBank – GTCO.
What is the meaning of GTCO?
GTCO is an acronym for Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc. The “CO” comes from the Company. GTCO is a financial services group. The company replaces GTBank in the Nigerian stock exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
Very simply, the financial institution and bank you know as GTBank has upgraded from just a regular financial bank to a services group. They now offer a lot more financial services and banking is just one part of the new ecosystem. In the long run, the company will be able to create more value, serve more clients, and deliver better results.
Hence, if you’re a GTBank customer, it should be to your advantage that the company is expanding. However, there’s nothing wrong with still calling the bank GTBank. While GTCO is the parent company, the banking section is still GTBank except it’s no longer a PLC – public listed company but now LTD – limited liability company. The bank will still be known among the public as GTBank for a long time.
Why is GTBank called GTCO?
GTBank is now GTCO, OK! Why, though? Was there any particular reason why the company decided to upgrade? Well, the upgrade was an internal decision. GTBank wasn’t under any external pressure to move from a PLC to an LTD.
When the news broke out, reports had it that “GTBank completes corporate reorganization”. The company could have still maintained the GTBank name – instead of GTBank Plc, it’ll be GTBank Ltd. However, this defeats the purpose of the reorganization as the company wants to do more than just banking.
From the company’s website, this is a new phase of growth as they want to offer services beyond banking. Notably, the company wants to drive innovative financial solutions to better serve companies. Being an LTD allows them to do a lot more than as a PLC.
Note that nothing changes on the part of customers. If you’re a GTBank customer, you don’t have to do any upgrade or similar actions. Just continue using the bank’s services as before, whether the mobile app, USSD code, or internet banking among others. The only thing changing are the company name and logo.
What are the newer services to expect?
With its reorganization, GTCO Plc will now be able to provide more services than just banking, with a payments business being a priority for the company. It could not have operated non-lending activities under its previous structure since a 2010 rule by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) required banks to cease operations of their non-banking companies.
Either withdrawal from non-core lending services or restructure as a holdings firm was the only option. Payments, pension management, asset management, and its existing banking operations are among its new activities.
When did GTBank change to GTCO?
GTBank officially changed its name to GTCO in July 2021 although the announcement was first made public in May. Major news outlets reported the name change on 14 July 2021. It wasn’t until December 2021 that major stakeholders in the company would give a legal go-ahead order for the reorganization.
This is why although the name change has been around since last year, it was this year the changes in logo and brand name was effected.
Brief History of GTBank, now GTCO
Guaranty Trust Bank Limited, GTCO’s banking affiliate in Nigeria, is the country’s most valued bank by market value, with a recent market valuation of N840.26 billion.
Guaranty Trust Holding Plc was founded in 1988 as Guaranty Trust Banks by over 35 young Nigerians in their thirties, led by Tayo Aderinokun and Fola Adeola, but also including Femi Pedro, Gbolade Osibodu, Femi Akingbe, Akin Opeodu, and others.
For a cash payment of US$100 million, the bank purchased a 70% stake in the Fina Bank Group in 2013. Soon after, Fina Bank’s branches and subsidiaries were renamed GTBank. Currently, the company employs over 10,000 people.
GT Bank announced a shift in its corporate structure in May 2021, transitioning to a holding company and spinning off its banking and other businesses into subsidiaries. After a court-ordered shareholders meeting on December 4, 2020, the planned reorganization was ratified by the company’s shareholders.
You should get used to seeing GTCO instead of the precious GTBank – the name and logo change is here to stay. It’s a new dawn for the financial company’s customers as they’ll be able to enjoy more and better services. As a customer, there’s nothing to worry about – the rebranding doesn’t affect you negatively in any way.