Financial sector reforms for more opportunities- Amissah-Arthur
The Government of Ghana is strengthening the financial sector to provide opportunities to all Ghanaians to thrive in their quest for more qualitative lives, Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur announced on Thursday.
He said the development of the financial sector is a central element of Government policy for alleviating poverty, adding that, “this is one of the key components of advancing the Better Ghana” that the Government is vigorously pursuing.
The Vice President made the announcement when he officially commissioned the headquarters building of the Golden Pride and Savings and Loans Limited, an initiative of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU), at Wawase in Obuasi, in the Ashanti Region.
He said strengthening of institutional structures, professional development, as well as the creation of a congenial environment for the private sector to operate, forms part of a central theme of the Government’s strategic objectives.
“Government has made the development of the financial sector a central element of its policy for alleviating poverty, the Vice President said.
He called on the actors in the operations of the financial institution to implement the best practices in the banking industry so that it would flourish and become one of the prominent financial institutions in Ghana.
According to the Vice President, there are currently 23 Savings and Loans companies operating in the country, with total assets of almost GHc 2 billion and total deposits of GHc 1.4 billion, which are supporting the micro, small and medium enterprises, thereby continuing to play a critical role in the development of the economy.
The Golden Pride and Savings Loans Limited, which started operations last May, and by the end of last August has so far built total deposits of GHc2.24 million and granted loans up to the tune of GHc 1.78 millions.
Vice President Amissah- Arthur noted that the increase in the paid up capital required by the Central Bank for granting a license from GHc 7 million to GHc15, required that the Golden Pride and Savings Limited, with a paid up capital of GHc 8.59 million had to raise GHc 6.41 in order to meet the minimum requirement for the conduct of their operations.
He drew the attention of the company to improve risk management practices and minimise credit, operational and liquidity risk, by engaging quality staff and further professional development.
They should also develop and implement good corporate governance systems and recover all loans, as well as focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), rather than large corporate entities that have other sources of finance.
He threw a caution to micro finance institutions not to engage in competition with commercial banks, and target their services to the broad masses of people, who lack banking services.
“You must decide the segment of the market you want to serve,” Vice President Amissah-Arthur said.
Dr Henry Akpenamawu Kofi Wampah, the Governor of the Central Bank, in a speech read for him, advised the institution to strive for competencies in staff and equipment to achieve its set corporate objectives.
Mr Johnson Asamoah, the Managing Director said the customer would be made the prime focus of the company’s operations.
Mr Prince William Ankrah, the Board Chairman, pledged the support of the Board for the company to achieve its targets and universal banking status in record time.