The Bank of Ghana and other regulatory authorities have been urged to adopt pragmatic measures to safeguard the savings and investments of customers.
The Upper East Regional caretaker Minister, Mr Mark Woyongo sounded the warning during the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the Naara Rural Bank held at Navrongo.
He observed that over the past few years, the country had experienced multiplicity of financial institutions and the tendency of some of them to abscond with people’s life savings and investments leaving unsuspecting customers in life threatening situations was high and should be checked.
“I sound this caution because in recent times, the media has reported of sub-standard financial institutions, which failed to meet critical Bank of Ghana requirements set for the banking sector. Some of these financial institutions actually end up absconding”.
He, however, commended the board, management, staff and shareholders of the Naara Rural Rural Bank for its resilience with appreciable growth year by year based on the bank’s technical competencies and the vast experience of its staff.
“I observed from the Board Chairman’s presentation on the bank’s operation results for 2011 that out of six variables, only one that is “Investments-short term” recorded a drop, 2010-2011 compared. The other variables including net profit before tax, deposits, loans and advances, net worth and total assets all recorded significant increments.”
He stated that in addition, the growth of banks could also largely be attributed to the enabling environment created by Government, which has attracted considerable amount of investments.
Mr Woyongo indicated that the Government recognised the private sector as a critical contributor to the economic development and poverty alleviation efforts of the country and said it would therefore continue to implement positive initiatives and policies that would further enhance the competence and capacity of banks and other registered financial institutions.
“This will be done through the provision of business support and training, extension of micro-credit facilities and also give assistance to small, medium and micro-businesses”, he added.
He appealed to the Board and Management not to only concentrate on profit making but endeavour at all times to make loan facilities available and accessible to all classes of their clientele and the public in general.
“This passionate appeal is premised on the fact that majority of our people are poor and will generally rely on your bank to execute their business ideas as well as cater for the educational needs of their children”.
He expressed happiness about the computerisation of the bank’s operations and said it would be a big relief to customers since they would be able to transact business with all the bank’s branches and also from the bank to other sister banks.
He entreated the Bank to continue to upgrade its ICT infrastructure and as well adopt more innovative banking techniques to attract more customers. The Bank, he indicated, should devise very flexible methods of loan recovery since that was one major source of income for the bank’s sustainability.
The Minister further expressed government’s gratitude to the Naara Rural Bank for spending a sum of GH¢4,150.00 during the 2011 financial year on sectors such as agriculture, education, health, sports and culture.