Mr. Yakubu Duogu, Wa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) has called on financial institutions operating in the Upper West Region to reduce lending rates to encourage people to go in for loans to either start or develop their businesses.
He said the Region was one of the poorest in the country and that high interest rates on loans would prevent businesses from developing, in addition to shattering the dreams of business minded persons.
Speaking at an end of year cocktail organised by the Wa branch of the First National Savings and Loans Bank in Wa at the weekend, Mr. Duogu called on the banks to consider the extreme poverty in the region and reduce their lending rates to attract more customers.
He said one way the bank could attract more customers to patronise its services was to offer better services and flexible terms and conditions especially with regard to interest rates on loans.
The MCE commended the authorities of Bank for extending their services to the Municipality and appealed to the management to ensure that they opened more branches in all the districts in the Region.
Mr. James Sohimwininye, the Branch Manager, said the idea behind the cocktail was to make it known to the whole world the significant contributions of the bank’s loyal customers and stakeholders that provided it the opportunity to win the best mobilisation branch award in 2010.
He urged the customers and stakeholders to continue to support the bank so that it could win the overall best branch in 2011.
Mr. Sohimwininye said the bank was considered as one of the fastest growing financial institutions in the banking industry with over 35 operational branches in all the country’s 10 Regions and still looking forward to attaining 40 by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
He said 18 out of the 35 branches had been networked through the introduction of modern banking technology which gave customers the opportunity to access their accounts at all branches.
In addition, the Branch Manager said the frustrations people went through when transferring money would now be a thing of the past, especially with the introduction of the fastest local money transfer system dubbed “SIKAPLUS”.
Mr. Sohimwininye said the bank also won immense commendation for introducing and operating the first savings and investment account known as “WODAKYE”, meaning “your future”.
He said it had a minimum deposit of GH50p which attracted a juicy interest of 7.5 per cent within six months and 15 per cent per annum.
Mr. Philip Zingsong, Credit Officer, said the bank had about five different types of credit facilities including the “Susu” loan, the micro finance loan, the small and medium enterprises loan, the author loan and the payroll loan.
He said one of the problems farmers faced when trying to access loans from the bank was the lack of guarantors.