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13.12.2002 Business & Finance

BOG warns banks against pre-fixing rates

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Bank of Ghana (BOG) has warned banks that pre-fix rates at which remitted foreign currencies were exchanged to desist from the practice since it partly accounted for the depreciation of the cedi.

''BOG will de-license any bank that flouts its regulations.''

Mr Emmanuel Asiedu-Mantey, Deputy Governor of BOG, said this when he inaugurated new premises for ECOBANK Ghana in Kumasi.

The new bank building was built at a cost of 1.8 million dollars and will serve the northern sector of the country.

The Deputy Governor said banks were expected not only to link their deposit rates to the falling treasury bill rate but also to have this impacted on their lending rates.

''This will bring about expansion in the private sector which will in turn cause an increase in the domestic savings.''

Mr Asiedu-Mante expressed concern about the high minimum accounts opening balances as well as the minimum operating balances required by some banks and said this had deprived most people, especially salaried workers, access to banking services.

He spoke about the incompatibility of the various electronic cards such as the Sika Card, Visa Horizon and Barclays Card among others, introduced by some banks and said "life will be more comfortable for customers if a product or service introduced by one bank could be used at other banks network".

The Deputy Governor appealed to banks to explore the possibility of developing a common platform with a view to interfacing their automated teller machines that would not only be most effective but would make life more comfortable for their clientele.

Mr Edward Larbi Gyampo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ECOBANK, said the bank held 9.91 percent of the market share of deposits and managing an asset portfolio of approximately 1.3 billion cedis.

Mr Gyampo said as at this year the bank's net worth stood at about 124.5 billion cedis.

In a message read on his behalf, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, commended ECOBANK for setting itself the formidable task of contributing to the financial, economic and social development of Ghana by providing a full range of banking services and products to individuals, companies, institutions and the government.

Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, hoped the new edifice would symbolise the good work being done in facilitating the rapid growth and development of the banking industry.

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