Speaking at the Fifth Annual General Meeting of GHASALC in Accra, Ms Eunice Brako Marfo, the Executive Secretary of the association said: “In the year 2014 GHASALC generally operated within unfavorable business environment characterised by high inflation and inadequate power supply.
“This made our net supply for the year to be reduced by 61 per cent from GH¢40,749 in 2013 to GH¢15,922 in 2014, compared to a 26 per cent increase in the previous year’s of GH¢32,269 from that of 2012.”
Ms Marfo said improved activities at the secretariat, however, resulted in scanty profit but the development did not augur well for the sustainability of the association.
According to the Executive Secretary, GHASALC’s total income received in the year under the review increased by 73 per cent representing GH¢140, 577 in 2014 from GH¢81, 273 in 2013.
However, the total operating cost in the same period increased by 208 per cent from GH¢40,524 in 2013 to GH¢124,655 in 2014.
Ms Marfo noted that GHASALC’s balance sheet size continued to improve marginally as the Association’s assets increased by 12 per cent from GH¢99, 898 in 2013 to GH¢122, 284 in 2014.
She explained that the above change resulted from the decision of the Council Executives and Management to invest idle funds into interest bearing asset acquisition to keep up with the secretariat’s activities.
On the future, Ms Marfo said: “Within the next couple of years our focus will be to strategically improve our income generating activities as a way to be sustainable and be a stronger mouth piece for our members.
“Key among our objectives next year is to champion the cause of our members and advocate for them in every possible way to ensure they are heard and seen in the limelight as they strive to improve financial inclusion in Ghana,” she said.
She, however, challenged Savings and Loans Companies to set good examples by storing and submitting data as they strived to improve live collectively.
Dr Asare Akuffo, the Managing Partner, Mate-Kole and Akuffo, Chartered Accountants and Management Consultants, challenged GHASALC to request for documentation as only a limited number of their customers at the base of the pyramid had formal identity documents, while a few had formal residential addresses or utility bills.
“Your Association should work with the Banking Supervision Department to have acceptable Know Your Customer requirements that will not constrain growth of our business,” he advised.
Dr Akuffo also urged GHASALC to embrace the mobile phone technology in their business as that would also help them to overcome the economies of scale and reduce their transaction cost significantly.
Touching on the theme: ‘Inclusive Financing: A Tool to Strengthening the Savings and Loans Sector in Ghana”, Dr Akuffo lauded GHASALC for the appropriate theme and encouraged them to reengineer to become attractive to the large population at the base of the economy.
“Your future survival depends on your ability to achieve economies of scale through the attraction of loyal customers
“And this you have to do actively whilst patiently creating assets of acceptable quality,” he said.
Dr Akuffo however called for the restriction of the high rate of new institutions springing up to make Micro credit and keep them out of the very sensitive area of deposit taking.
“Financial inclusion must not be at the expense of financial instability,” he noted.
Dr Emmanuel O. Owusu, Chairman, GHASALC, encouraged members to support the Association by coming through with their financial statements and other data requests on time to ensure efficient system.
He noted that the Association in its efforts in ensuring the Operation Permits rates of members in Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly reduced significantly.
He, therefore, pledged better improvement systems among other activities by the secretariat to help position GHASALC on a high pedestal not only in Ghana but on the global market.
A five-year plan of GHASALC, aimed at deepening and strengthening the Association and its members towards a sustainable front was launched.