‘Banks must develop pro-poor policies and products’

Business News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Rev Francis Amenu EP

A former Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Francis Amenu, has urged banks in the country to make poverty reduction their focus and not dwell very much on maximising profit at the expense of the welfare of the poor.

He said banks should develop products that aimed at bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.

“We must work hard to develop fair rules that favour both the rich and the poor,” he said.

Rev. Amenu was speaking at a thanksgiving service organised by the National Investment Bank (NIB) in Accra.

He further pointed out the need for financial institutions to re-examine their roles in contemporary development and economic growth patterns and put in place pragmatic steps to address economic imbalances in the country.

The thanksgiving service was on the theme, “Crowning the year with God’s goodness”. The ceremony was held to express the bank’s appreciation to God for a successful 2014.

The Managing Director of the National Investment Bank (NIB), Mr Ernest Mawuli Agbesi, hinted that the bank would for the first time in 10 years declare dividends to its shareholders.

Mr Agbesi, who did not mention any figures, described the year 2014 as a very successful year for the bank and said the bank’s figures, which would be published in March, would testify to the hard work of the staff.

“Successes achieved is attributable to the commitment and hard work on the part of the board, management and staff of the bank,” he said.

He said the bank would introduce new products in the coming year and had as such recruited qualified staff to augment the strength of its personnel.

Mr Agbsi said the bank had acquired a new software worth over US$ 2.5 million to facilitate its e-Banking system and other electronic products.

“We will be bringing banking closer to our customers and hope to open a minimum of 12 branches in 2015,” he said.

He said the bank had also developed its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) department in order to get closer to small businesses.