The Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku has cut the tape to open a new branch complex for the International Commercial Bank ICB in Kumasi. In his speech he called on banks to come up with flexible interest rates to enable small businesses to obtain loans to expand their businesses to quicken the pace of growth of the national economy.
In a speech read on is behalf, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana BOG, Mr. Mahmoud Bawumia, noted that the increasing level of competition in the banking sector can be attributed to the implementation of the Universal Banking Concept by BOG in 2003, which necessitated an increase in the minimum capital of Banks to 70 billion cedis.
He said this enhanced capital base of the banks should enable them provide the required infrastructure for expansion adding that competition should also energize the banks to reach out more effectively to the public through the establishment of new branches and offer a variety of innovative products that are technology driven.
He disclosed that the number of bank branches increased from 333 in 2003 to 348 and 375 in 2004 and 2005 respectively. This represents 12.61 percent over the period. He added that another factor that has intensified the competition drive among banks is the decline in the prime interest rate from 27 . 5 percent to 14.5 percent.
The CEO of ICB Ghana Mr. L. K. Ganpathiraman explained that the bank believes in the entrepreneurship and partnership and has identified Kumasi as the city that has produced the most successful entrepreneurs thus the decision to establish a branch in Kumasi to ensure continued development of the metropolis.
The ICB's sales and Marketing Manager of the bank Miss Dede Kafui Odamten cited some of the bank products as import loan shames, account, and easy saving. She stressed on the bank's easy import loan scheme which offers customers the opportunity to clear their imported goods with the help of the bank.