ProCredit Savings and Loans Company Ghana Limited, a non-bank financial institution, has announced its intention to become a universal bank next year.
The company, which has for the past five years been providing financial services to some 76,000 micro and small enterprises in the country, is thus, fast expanding its branch network across the country.
The Managing Director of ProCredit, Ms Mary Odong, announced this at Abeka Lapaz, a suburb of Accra, during the commissioning of the company's latest branch office.
This brings to nine the total number of branches the company operates in the country.
She said the company had plans to open eight additional branches throughout the country this year before it is transformed into a full-fledged bank by early 2008, adding that the speedy expansion was part of the company's programme to reach a larger clientele.
Ms Odong explained that the continuous growth in loan and deposit products was an indication of the trust and confidence the company had from entrepreneurs, savers and individuals, adding that it was also building a savings culture amongst the population.
“At ProCredit, we provide financial products and services for “ordinary people in a friendly and professional manner,” she said.
Ms Odong said the establishment of the Abeka Lapaz branch was to bring the company's reliable and affordable financial products and services closer to its customers.
The Chief Manager, Investigations and Consumer Department of Bank Of Ghana, Mr Joseph Akunyumu-Tetteh, commended ProCredit for being one of the fastest growing non-bank financial institutions licensed by the Bank of Ghana.
He stated that as of 2006, ProCredit's share of the consolidated assets of savings and loans of companies and non-bank financial institution sector were 20.36 per cent and 6.40 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile ProCredit has added a new product known as the ProKid account to its existing services,
This savings account for children up to 18 years is aimed at inculcating and promoting the savings culture in children and to give them a financial headstart in life.
At the launch of the product, the Managing Director, Mrs Odong, said that if children developed a habit of savings it provided an inestimable value for them and the country as a whole.
“The culture of savings shall mature long in the children's minds and result in an intelligent exposure to their financial resources,” she noted.
She said because ProCredit wanted everyone to save, the ProKid account could be opened with any amount.
Mrs Odong explained that any child who opened the ProKid account would receive an interest of eight per cent per annum for the first two months and later receive the normal seven per cent.
Story by Maria Alberta Viala