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17.09.2005 Business & Finance

BOG assures of "rigorous prudential supervision"

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Tema, Sept. 17, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Asiedu-Mante, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said on Friday that the Central Bank would continue to place emphasis on rigorous prudential supervision to ensure safe, sound and secured financial environment. He said the measures would ensure the consolidation of the macroeconomic stability in order to promote more efficient resource allocation in the economy.

Mr Asiedu-Mante was speaking at the opening of the Tema branch of CAL Bank.

The Tema branch, the fourth after Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi, is part of the bank's strategy of accelerating access to quality banking, and more especially, to show how committed CAL is to the people and industries in the Municipality, management says. Mr Asiedu-Mante noted with satisfaction that the introduction of the Universal Banking Concept and the relaxation of related restrictions on banking business, had presented financial institutions with new opportunities to manage their portfolios more flexibly. He said the introduction of the new financial sector bills and laws would bring more dynamism into the banking and financial sector in general.

Mr Asiedu-Mante pointed out that in spite of the sharp increase in petroleum prices in the first quarter of this year, inflation rates continued to trend down towards single digit levels. He reminded financial institutions that they would be able to survive in the new macroeconomic environment if only they quickly re-adjusted their portfolios and began to strategise appropriately. "For example, the downward trend in inflation and interest rates means that banks that have smaller loan/deposit rates must begin to explore the opportunities presented by the concept of universal banking".

He underscored the need for competitors in the financial sector to rationalise their cost structures and develop strong institutions to compete in the low-inflation environment, thus delivering services in a fair and transparent regulatory framework.

The First Deputy Governor commended CAL Bank for its excellent performances over the years, and said it was gratifying to note that even though the bank's aim was to raise a minimum of 63 billion cedis at the Ghana Stock Exchange to support the development of its retail branch network, it ended up raising as much as 298 billion cedis, which was unprecedented in the history of the Accra bourse.

He also lauded the bank for living up to its social responsibilities, by continuing to demonstrate its good corporate citizenship through support for several number of programmes for the poor and needy in society, in addition to providing educational scholarships for needy but brilliant students. 17 Sept. 05

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