THE FINANCE and Economic Planning Minister, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu has appealed to banking institutions to look beyond institutional demands so that individuals and small and medium scale enterprises (SME) may access loans, to make governmental policies in that sector more meaningful.
This was contained in a speech read on his behalf during the Intercontinental Bank's anniversary and unveiling of a new logo in Accra.
“The growth in the banking sector would require the kind of manager who would see beyond institutional demands and identify potentially good prospective customers and investments since a brand logo cannot lead to this without a conscious effort to inculcate this culture in the management and staff,” he said.
Touching on some government initiatives aimed at making borrowing flexible within the banking sector, the Minister said, “Abolition of the secondary reserves and Introduction of Credit Reporting Bill has been introduced to ensure fairness of competition, safety of investment and make borrowing cheaper to the private sector,” but interest rates are still beyond the customer and SMEs.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu urged the banks to train their staff and upgrade infrastructure to meet the challenges posed by facilities like the National Switch, which would be “used for payment transactions and Biometric Cards intended to address the shortcomings of existing debit and credit”.
He said since these facilities would increase the clientele base in the banking sector, the government should promote financial literacy programmes for customers on the range of products, as envisaged in the 2008 budget.
By Patrick Baidoo