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11.11.2002 Business & Finance

Reduce deposit requirements

By Daily Graphic
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The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has called on banks to lower their minimum deposit levels to make them more affordable to customers. The Central Bank described the current minimum deposits set by the banks as too high and noted that the situation has deprived several workers access to banking services.

Some commercial banks are currently demanding between ¢500,000 and ¢2m before a new account is opened. Minimum clear balance in some cases should not be below ¢1m. The Head of the Banking Supervision Division of the BOG, J.B. Clottey, stated at the commissioning of the Suame Magazine Agency of the Trust Bank in Kumasi, that the situation has also contributed greatly to the low level of savings deposits in the country.

He accused some banks for taking advantage of the liberalisation of the economy, which allows them to determine their own interest rates and fix charges and commission for services provided to exploit customers. "Some banks are charging excessive fees and commission", he said, and called on managements of the banks to take another look at the charges with the view to reducing them to ease the burden on their customers.

Clottey stressed the need for the banks to introduce common E-Cards to ensure cost saving and charged banks to give enough education to the public when introducing new products to ensure good patronage. "It is disappointing to see a product collapse shortly after its introduction due to poor patronage by the public arising mostly from lack of adequate education and extensive advertisement", he said.

The Managing Director of the Trust Bank, Jean-Marie Marquebreucq said the decision to establish the Suame Agency is a manifestation of the bank's responsiveness to the needs of the people of Kumasi especially in Suame and the adjoining areas.

He gave the assurance that the bank would continue to come out with products and services that would meet the needs of the people. Marquebreucq stated that the banks would assist business persons in the Suame Magazine with import bill financing and short term facilities for paying customs and import duties. He said the bank has made donations to the Otumfuo Education Fund and other activities initiated by the Asantehene and the Ghana Tourism Board in Ashanti.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, S.K. Boafo, urged the Trust Bank to increase its assistance to small-scale business entrepreneurs and artisans to help improve the living conditions of the people. The Manponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, who chaired the ceremony commended the Trust Bank for the good work done and gave the assurance that the Otumfuo and Asanteman would support them in their endeavours.

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