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Business News of Friday, 3 August 2007

Source: Samuel COLEMAN(samuel.coleman@dailyexpressonline.com)

Barclays rolls out expansion programme

Barclays Bank Ghana, currently in its 90th year of operation in Ghana has launched a massive expansion programme that will see the opening of new branches across the country.

Eleven (11) new branches will be rolled before the end of September and according to the bank’s Managing Director Margaret Mwanakatwe, the manner and fashion of this roll-out is unprecedented in the history of banking in Ghana.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe says the expansion programme is because the bank does not want to stay out from key commercial centres in the country. It also wants to take their financial agenda to another level by increasing access to their banking facilities irrespective of the region.

This is a new regime at Barclays which a few years ago was considered a bank for the Elite only with ordinary Ghanaians and even students ‘technically’ debarred from doing business with the bank because of the high banking opening amount among others.

But Barclays has rapidly moved on, opening more branches with as many as three new strategically located branches in Accra alone, and an aggressive canvassing for new account openings. These has even targeted market people who can open accounts with Barclays with only GH¢4.

And the reaction to Barclays’ new outlook has so far been positive. New branches will be opening in Bolgatanga, Swedru, Bawku, Aflao, Wa, Kasoa, Techiman, Asafo (Kumasi) and other locations.

Meanwhile banking operations have already started at new branches opened at Berekum and Hohoe. In Accra, new branches have opened in the Airport City, at Adabraka and a second branch opened on the University of Ghana campus.

New branches will also be opening on the Motorway extension, Ring Road Central.

Speaking at the inauguration of the (Accra) Spintex road branch of the bank, the MD said their new mission is to become the leading contributor to Ghana’s economy and would therefore not remain lean and thin on the ground. She also noted that the Bank which had thirty-one (31) branches at the beginning of the year will be doubled to about sixty-four (64) by the 2008. This will be in addition about eighty (80) Automated Teller Machines (ATM), an improvement over the current number of twenty-eight (28) as at January 2007.

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