Ecobank, whose official name is Ecobank Transnational Inc., is a pan-African banking group with a presence in more African countries than any other bank. It is the leading independent regional banking Group in West and Central Africa, serving wholesale and retail customers. Group Network As of January 2010, Ecobank will have banking operations in thirty (30) countries in Europe, West Africa, Central Africa and East Africa. The group's network covers the following countries: Ecobank Benin Ecobank Burkina Faso Ecobank Burundi Ecobank Cameroon Ecobank Cape Verde Ecobank Central African Republic Ecobank Chad Ecobank Republic of the Congo Ecobank Côte d'Ivoire Ecobank Democratic Republic of the Congo Ecobank France Ecobank Gabon Ecobank Gambia Ecobank Ghana Ecobank Guinea Ecobank Guinea-Bissau Ecobank Kenya Ecobank Liberia Ecobank Malawi Ecobank Mali Ecobank Niger Ecobank Nigeria Ecobank Rwanda Ecobank São Tomé and Príncipe Ecobank Senegal Ecobank Sierra Leone Ecobank Tanzania Ecobank Togo Ecobank Uganda Ecobank Zambia Ecobank Zimbabwe Ecobank maintains a network of over 600 branches and service offices. The bank group's customer base is almost 2 million accounts. The group employs in excess of 11,000 people. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI): History and incorporation ETI, a public limited liability company, was established as a bank holding company in 1985 under a private sector initiative spearheaded by the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry with the support of ECOWAS. In the early 1980’s the banking industry in West Africa was dominated by foreign and state-owned banks. There were hardly any commercial banks in West Africa owned and managed by the African private sector. ETI was founded with the objective of filling this vacuum. The Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce promoted and initiated a project for the creation of a private regional banking institution in West Africa. In 1984, Ecopromotions S.A. was incorporated. Its founding shareholders raised the seed capital for the feasibility studies and the promotional activities leading to the creation of ETI. In October 1985, ETI was incorporated with an authorised capital of US$100 million. The initial paid up capital of US$32 million was raised from over 1,500 individuals and institutions from West African countries. The largest shareholder was the ECOWAS Fund for Cooperation, Compensation and Development (ECOWAS Fund), the development finance arm of ECOWAS. A Headquarters’ Agreement was signed with the government of Togo in 1985 which granted ETI the status of an international organisation with the rights and privileges necessary for it to operate as a regional institution, including the status of a non-resident financial institution. Details of the Headquarters Agreement are set out in Section 2.16. ETI commenced operations with its first subsidiary in Togo in March 1988. Today, the Ecobank Group is a full-service regional banking institution employing over 11,000 staff in over 746 branches and offices in thirty (30) west, central and east and southern African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group's expansion plan includes the opening of new subsidiaries and branches in other Middle African countries as well as representative offices and international banking facilities in the major financial centres that have substantial trading and transaction links with Africa such as London, Paris, Dubai and Beijing. We have already opened a subsidiary in Paris, France, a representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai, UAE. ETI has two specialised subsidiaries: Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) and eProcess International (eProcess). EDC was incorporated with a broad mandate to develop Ecobank’s investment banking and advisory businesses throughout the countries where Ecobank operates. EDC operates brokerage houses on all 3 stock exchanges in West Africa and has obtained licences to operate on the 2 stock exchanges in Central Africa: the Douala Stock Exchange in Cameroon and the Libreville Exchange in Gabon. The mandate of eProcess is to manage the Group’s information technology function with a view to ultimately centralising the Group’s middle and back office operations to improve efficiency, service standards and reduce costs.