Ghanaians have been asked to do business with local banks to enable them to boost their capacity and keep them strong.
That is the call by the Deputy Manager of Heritage Bank Ghana Ltd, Peter Sangber-Dery.
He believes confidence in local banks is critical for national economic growth as the foreign banks will always repatriate their profits to their countries of origin.
Mr. Sangber-Dery’s call comes in the wake of concerns about customers’ reluctance to deal with local banks following collapse of UT Bank and Capital Bank.
He says indigenous financial institutions need local patrons to strengthen their base and build capacity in a rather challenging sector.
“We should not be reluctant to deal with local banks; they are the ones that will build this country. If we do not go to the local banks we will be building other people’s economies and other people’s countries.
“Because the profits made by the non-local banks are not likely to be left in this country, if we really want to build our economy, the local banks are the ones we should be patronising more”, Mr. Sangber-Dery.
According to him, the financial sector is key and a very sensitive area, so it is the local banks that should be patronised in the drive to grow Ghana’s financial sector.
“There may be few challenges but that doesn’t mean all local banks are suffering that way. Even though some are suffering, I believe there are ways they are organising themselves to get that sorted as mentioned by the central bank governor,” he said.
With the opening of a new branch of Heritage Bank in Adum on Tuesday, Mr. Sangber-Dery said he is optimistic that Ghanaian banks are strong and should be patronized, despite the recent takeover debacle.
He believes local banks should be helped to build their capacity further so that they can grow the financial sector because it is a very sensitive area in the economy.
“It is a very sensitive area in the country and all of us as Ghanaians have a responsibility to help grow”.
The opening of the Adum branch becomes the second in Ashanti Region capital, as managers hint of four more by end of this year.
Mr. Sangber-Dery emphasises the bank’s quest to close the gap between the banked and unbanked population.
According to him, getting the right technologies in place to avoid making loans that cannot be repaid is critical to strengthening local banks.
General Manager Retail Banking, Mark Achiampong, reiterated the bank’s commitment to bringing the benefits of banking to unserved and underserved customer segments in the country through innovation customisation and digitisation
He stated that as a listening bank, heritage bank continues to dialogue with its customers in order to appreciate their real needs and come up with relevant financial solutions to make their dreams possible.