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13.10.2005 General News

Play more defining role - Governor

By GNA
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Accra, Oct 13, GNA - Dr Paul Acquah, Governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG) has asked the National Banking College to position itself to play a more defining role in developing the manpower required to move the country rise from "stability to growth'.

He explained that the banking industry was at the core of expectations in the economy and should be seen making the operations and performance of industry a key element in generating effective growth. Dr. Acquah, who was speaking in Accra at a Bankers Stakeholders Forum said the banking system had witnessed significant changes and with that the Banking College has no choice but to be part of the process. "The banking profession is now at a key juncture. The industry is more than ever better placed to play a pivotal role at the core of a growth strategy that is centred on free-markets and private sector initiative," he added.

He noted that the College has over the years struggled on a shoestring budget and urged the industry to work at making it perform better, saying, " it is of mutual interest that it continues to do well ....".

Dr Acquah said fiscal and monetary policy had delivered a good deal of macroeconomic stability and inflation is coming down into a low and stable range," though still above the single digit threshold while the cedi has been stable in relation to the Us dollar. He said growth was closer to six per cent, "but the challenge is how to scale up growth to even higher levels through business, and the financial sector is key here ...".

He commended the revolutionary changes underway in the industry with the rolling out of 120 automated teller machines across the country and point of sale electronic payment systems.

He was happy that banks were competing in many ways, establishing new branches in the old fashioned way instead of closing them as was the case some years back: "they are introducing use of interest bearing certificates and cashless accounts opening balances to mobilize deposits instead of repelling deposits through high opening balances and fees." He said from all indications, the industry recognised that long-term profitability was dependent on investments in the real economy rather than in debt instruments that were yielding increasingly low risk-adjusted rates of return.

Dr Acquah said the Central Bank would strengthen monetary policy as required and to safeguard price stability as well as financial stability.

"This means that we have work to, and we expect fiscal policy to continue to be disciplined and supportive." Mr Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, represented by Mrs Helen Allottey, External Resource Mobilization Director urged financial service providers to develop clear capacity building strategies and invest in the development of human capital in the various institutions.

He said there was the expectation that the staffs of all financial service providers were exposed to quality training and development in a consistent manner for development. 13 Oct. 05

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