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06.04.2011 Business & Finance

More customers throng First National

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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By:  Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh
First National Savings and Loans (FNSL), a leading non-banking financial institution in Ghana, can now boast of 118, 277 customers, with potential ones queuing up daily at the various offices of the company dotted around the country to transact businesses, and to experience great customer care.

The Business Chronicle gathered that both the customers and the potential ones showed remarkable confidence in the company, which they attributed to the many innovative products such as the Wo Daakye and the Sikaplus introduced onto the market sometime ago.

With the Wo Daakye (your future) product, the customers were happy that there was a facility within the company that they could rely upon to secure their future, while in the case of the Sikaplus, they said they can now avoid the hassle of travelling far and wide to give monies to their relations, partners, workers, etc.

Wo Daakye provides a secure and easy way for traders, students, farmers, and micro and medium-scale enterprises to save at their work places.

The idea is to encourage Ghanaians to adopt and sustain the culture of savings. Under this scheme, the company employs field cashiers to pay visits to clients who operate the product on a daily basis to collect funds for deposit.

While the Sikaplus is an instant domestic money transfer, by which one person (remitter) transfers money to any part of the country through the FNSL branch network to a named beneficiary.

It is fast, simple and a convenient means of transferring money, as compared to the conventional means, which demand drafts, cheques or pay orders. It normally takes a maximum of one hour after receipt of funds for the system (networked braches) to transfer funds to the payee.

The paper also saw a tall list of prospective customers enquiring from the company's headquarters, the modalities required to open an account with First National.

Reports from the field, suggest that the growth of First National Savings and Loans (FNSL) is largely due to the confidence and satisfaction that customers have in the company.

The First National Savings and Loans (FNSL) is a legitimate entity, with the full backing of the regulatory financial laws of Ghana.

The fact that many Ghanaians are skeptical about some of the savings and loans companies, amply justifies belief within a section of society that certain unscrupulous persons have squeezed themselves into the otherwise legitimate business for their selfish needs, and in the process, end up duping and exploiting unsuspecting clients.

Such concerns, to some extent, are genuine and legitimate. Of course, the history of savings and loaning in the country is replete with fraud and other dirty practices, where in the end, the clients become losers.

There have been instances where people, under the guise of operating savings and loans companies, have bolted away with huge sums of monies belonging to their clients, virtually leaving the victims in a quandary.

The FNSL took into consideration such challenges, and therefore, saw the need to sanitise the industry to restore the confidence of clients who have been victims of manipulation by the charlatans, and also to assure prospective customers that despite the cheats, there were still a few ones that are genuine.

Before it embarked on the idea of setting up a Savings and Loan company, FNSL took the pain of satisfying the requirements that would make it credible, and gain acceptability among clients; satisfying the ground rules in order to restore customer confidence.

First, it set out to gain legitimate status. That explains why it waited patiently for a license from the Bank of Ghana (BoG). The BoG approval has boosted customer and would-be customer confidence.

That explains why after just within a year of operation, the company attracted close to 500 clients with operations in 20 branches throughout the country. As at now, the company's branches have increased to 42 throughout the country, and it is the hope of officials of FNSL that the branches could hit 60 by mid-year.

The steady rise of the company is definitely due to the fact that people feel confident about their savings at FNSL. It has also established the pedigree as the company with the most popular appeal, because the ordinary person remains its primary potential client.

It is also noted for its excellent customer service, while creating wealth for both stakeholders and customers. FNSL's interest rates are just about the best nationwide, with excellent customer service and flexible loan repayments.

As a people-centered institution, the primary target of FNSL is employees of both the private and public sector organisations. Micro, small and medium scale enterprises which have done business with FNSL have all realised the dream of being supported by an institution that is really bent on helping the ordinary Ghanaian who finds it difficult raising huge capital to start a business.

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