Banks must be development-oriented
The Minister of State in charge of Financial and Allied Institutions, Mr Fiifi Kwetey, has called for a paradigm shift in the system of banking from the current approach where all banks chase a few clients.
He proposed what he called “a development-oriented system,” where everyone is given the opportunity to open, run a bank account and undertake various transactions, ultimately leading to total financial inclusion.
This, he said, is key to realising Ghana’s development goals. “This was because with an “all inclusive” approach, the massive liquidity outside the banking system can be mobilised and channelled to entrepreneurial endeavours, leading to more jobs and more value creation across the country.
The minister was speaking at a ceremony to mark the official inauguration of the Ashaiman branch of the Union Savings and Loans Company.
“We have seen a few institutions, especially in the non-bank financial sector, making conscious efforts to introduce products, policies and procedures that will enable and encourage financial inclusion at all levels of the economy.
“One of such institutions is Union Savings and Loans, which is one of the oldest in the country,” he observed.
The minister noted that, led by the banks, the financial services sector contributed more than 35 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “Therefore, the government, in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana, always makes it an agenda to ensure that there is stability and growth of this sector in order to promote financial inclusion, protection of depositors’ funds and funding of businesses and projects that will stimulate further economic growth and development”.
An Assistant Director at the Banking Supervision Department of the Central Bank, Mr Boyd Donkor, extolled the efforts of the company, saying the Union exceeded the minimum paid-up capital by close to 50 per cent, meeting the statutory capital requirements for savings and loans companies.
Mr Donkor also commended them on their expansion, but advised the company to continue to maintain and improve upon its performance in the years ahead.
“The board and management must also ensure that there are effective internal controls, regulatory compliance and transparency in pricing of products and services,” he charged.
The Managing Director of Union Savings and Loans, Mr Philip Oti Mensah, reiterated the company’s resolve to continue to provide innovative and exceptional services to clients and potential clients.
“We will also strive to bring our products and services to the doorstep of the people. Indeed, by opening the Ashaiman branch, our branch network stands at six: two in Accra, one in Takoradi and three in Kumasi,” he said.
Mr Mensah emphasised that the company would open four more branches this year to increase its number to 10.
By William A. Asiedu/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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