By Pascal Kafu Abotsi ([email protected])
Home Finance Company (HFC) Bank, a subsidiary of the Republic Bank has launched seven deposit products to augment the already existing ones customers enjoy. This was done at a colourful event in Accra last week.
Dubbed, “You Deserve More, Make the Switch Now”, the campaign of all the seven exciting products are targeted at meeting the needs of all age groups in society. They include the HFC Brainy Account, The HFC “Susu” Account, the HFC Premium Savers Account and the HFC Smartsave Account. The rest are the HFC “I Do” Account, the HFC 55 Plus Account and the HFC Home Save Plus Account.
According to the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Robert Le Hunte, the products have been “customised to suit the needs of your wide range of customer base, whose interest and expectations vary widely…the offer of attractive features and less banking charges is what is needed to drive the Ghanaian banking industry.
“This year, 2016, the focus is on you our cherished customers and we have leveraged on the strength of Republic Bank Limited and the experience of HFC staff and developed seven new amazing products that take care of everyone’s needs,” Mr. Le Hunte said.
Throwing light on the range of products, Mr. Hunte said the HFC Brainy Account is reserved for children between one day and 18 years, with customer targets being parents and guardians of these children.
The initial opening amount for this account should not be less than GHC 50. As part of the benefits, customers would enjoy free quarterly statements, free and instant access to HFC Fastnet, free bank draft to pay school fees, among others.
The HFC “Susu” Account targets customers who are willing to make savings (susu) towards a renewable one year contract. Applicants must not be less than 18 years and they could be existing and potential non-customers.
Initial account opening should not be less than GHC 50 and monthly contribution of not less than GHC 50 for 12 months post account opening is required. Customers are expected to enjoy one full month’s savings paid out to them as bonus after 12 months of savings.
For the HFC Premium Savers Account, product targets are individuals who are serious investors and applicants must be 18 years and above. An initial deposit of GHC 1000 is required and withdrawal is restricted to once per month.
The minimum balance to earn interest is GHC 15, 000, below which reverts to a normal current account with no interest nor charge. As part of the package, up to 80 % of account balance could be granted as loans to account holders.
The HFC Smartsave Account is reserved for individual regular savers and applicants must be 18 years and above. It requires an initial account opening amount of not less than GHC 50 and customers need to maintain a minimum balance of GHC 1000 to earn interest.
Customers are guaranteed free cash withdrawal on any HFC Automated Teller Machine (ATM), access to fastnet, quarterly statements and personal/auto loans. The tiered interest rate for this account is pegged at a maximum of 5%.
The Managing Director also mentioned that the HFC “I Do” Account targets young individuals and couples looking to save towards marriage and immediate life afterwards. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and the account is to be operated as a hybrid one. It could be operated as a joint account as well, with an initial account opening amount of GHC 200.
The product benefits include a personalised investment planning advice, free use of HFC Ebankese gardens for wedding photo shoot.
There is also a discount on the use of on-site collection system for cash and cheque gifts on the wedding day and also a special “I Do” loan facility of up to twice the amount saved in a year. This account attracts tiered maximum interest rate of 5%.
The HFC 55 Plus Account is meant for all Ghanaians who are at least 55 years old. Applicants must meet minimum monthly pension income. The account is being operated as a hybrid one, with an initial account opening amount of GHC 50. It allows for approved loans on account and has a maximum tiered interest rate of 8%.
Tiered rating scale minimum monthly balance of GHC 1000 must be held to earn interest. The HFC Home Save Plus Account targets customers who desire to own their homes within the shortest possible time and applicant should be 18 years or more. The account is being operated as a hybrid of savings and investment, with a minimum opening balance of GHC 100.
The benefits for this product include savings up to 25% of the property cost qualifies a customer to apply for a mortgage loan and a consumer loan as well. The account could also be used as collateral for credit facilities. Two and three months instalments after 2 and 3 year payments respectively, attract implied rate of 8% and 5%.
The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, commended the bank for the new initiative which he said had come at the opportune time, not only to improve on its performance but also challenge others in the sector.
He said the Bank of Ghana would continue to monitor the activities of the banking sector and that legislation would be passed to address the weaknesses to create an enabling environment for operators in the sector to work and help put the economy on a strong footing