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27.03.2009 Business & Finance

CIG launches Ghana Banking Awards

By Stephen Odoi-Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

Corporate Initiative Ghana (CIG) last Wednesday launched the Ghana Banking Awards with a call on players in the banking industry to design innovative products that will encourage long-term savings in the country. The theme for this year's event is “Enhancing confidence in the Ghanaian financial system, in the midst of the global financial crisis”.

In his submission at the event in Accra, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metro Television, Mr. Haruna Alhassan expressed concern about the culture of savings in the country, considering its critical role in the economy.

According to him, the various banks have not been innovative enough to attract long-term savings, looking at the current population of the country. “I will like to point to the fact that banks have not been innovative enough to attract long-term savings. Considering the critical role savings play in the economy, it is still too low if figures of about only two million people, out of a possible seven million workers have bank accounts”, he noted.

In that regard, he tasked all stakeholders in the industry to promote time deposits on aggressive basis to ensure that ideal funds are brought into the mainstream banking sector.

“Until quiet recently, only a few banks would promote their products. There is a lot more that can be done in this direction in promoting time deposits and other products that have the tendency to rope in more long-term savings. There is the need to ensure that the bankable public design attractive rates that would entice the investing public”, he said.

He commended the Bank of Ghana for the introduction of the E-zwich, which according to him will attract more people to do business with the banks.

The Chairman of the Banking Awards Planning Committee of CIG, Mr. Willing Vanderpuije in his address, expressed joy about the growth of the banking sector in the country. He said in spite of the global economic meltdown, the industry continued with its strong performance recording growth in assets and improved profitability in the 2008 fiscal year.

“Sometimes, we in Africa are accused of doing theoretical banking. Our system was better prepared and has remained strong in the face of the global financial crisis”, he noted.

The Banking Awards initiated by CIG seeks to help the banking sector to perform at ultimate efficiency in support of industry and the nation at large.

Categories to be awarded include; Customer Care, Advisory Services, Trade Finance, Short Term Loan Financing, Medium Term Loan Financing and Long Term Loan Financing.

Others are; IT and Electronic Banking, Product Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Growing Bank and Financial Performance.

The rest are; Competitive Pricing, Export Finance, Best Corporate Banking, Best Bank Retail Banking and Overall Bank of the year. The awards would be held on Saturday May 19th , 2009, in Accra.