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15.02.2007 General News

Financial Institutions Urged To Redefine Role

Financial institutions in the country have been called upon to re-define their roles in the changing trends of banking.

"The discovery of Internet has opened new frontiers where everybody with funds could provide banking services as lending and borrowing to their clients," Mr Joe DiVanna, an international financial expert has advised.

His advice formed part of a lecture on the theme, "The Future of Retail Banking," organised by the Barclays Bank, in Accra.

Mr DiVanna, urged banks to invest in technologies such as the use of mobile phones in transacting banking businesses that are popular with the youth in order to remain competitive.

He said the informal sector had great potential for banks that were prepared to take well-calculated risks and lead in designing new products to advance macro credits.

He said what was required at the informal sector was hard work which many of the banks were not prepared to undertake and, therefore, urged the banks to desist from closing their branches which were not performing since branches serve the dual purpose of serving the financial and social needs of customers.

The Managing Director of Barclays Bank, Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe, said that the bank had drawn up a four-year growth programme to partner local institutions to help promoten the development of the country.

She said the four-year programme was also aimed at expanding the activities of the bank to target self-employed youth in the informal sector with macro-credit facilities.

The managing director said the lecture was part of a series of activities lined up for the bank to attain its goal of being the leading contributor to the country's development.

Story by Abdul Aziz