Worku Lemma leaves OIB to be Founding President of Debub Global Bank

Worku Lemma

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia- The Central Bank has accepted the election of Worku Lemma, former Vice President of Oromia International Bank (OIB) as the founding president of Debub Global Bank (DGB), which is under establishment.

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) sent the letter of acceptance to DGB on October 21, 2011, according to a report published by the weekly business newspaper, Addis Fortune.

The central bank accepted Worku’s selection because he has fulfilled the Fit and Proper Directive requirements, according to Solomon Desta, Director of Bank Supervision of the NBE told Fortune.

Worku, who received his first and second degree in Business Management and Businesses Administration from Addis Abeba University (AAU), resigned from his position at OIB this past Wednesday, and assumed his position at DGB, which is under establishment, the same day.

DGB barely made it to the industry, only being considered as under establishment, as it had submitted its feasibility study and business plan to the Central Bank before the minimum threshold of paid up capital for banks was raised to half a billion Birr.

It first offered equity in 2009 and has so far collected 139 million Br in paid up capital and 270 million Br in subscribed capital. Having submitted the 75 million Br minimum thresholds the bank is also required to submit the signatures of shareholders s authenticated by the Documents Authentication & Registration Office (DARO).

Although it has made it past the half a billion Birr requirement to join the industry, the bank has to come up with the amount in five years after it starts operations.

Worku, 41, has served once as president of OIB before he was replaced by Abe Sano, who left his position in February 2009 as a president of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). He has also served as vice president of internal audit and district and branch manager at the CBE.

“The industry is competitive and is passing through strict regulatory requirements of the central bank,” he told Fortune.

However, Worku, whose colleagues at OIB say is calm and does not say much, does not expect coming up with half a billion Birr in paid up capital in the given time to be difficult.

“I plan to follow cost minimization strategies,” he told Fortune. “We will be opening only three branches during the first year of operations while investing in electronic and interest free banking.”