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Business News of Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Source: B&FT

Investment vehicle for MFIs

The Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) is to establish an investment vehicle to source funds for its members, Mr. Paul Aheto, Deputy Executive Secretary, has said.

The initiative is to ensure that funds are readily available for on-lending to members of the association, and to strengthen the operations of micro-finance institutions in the country.

He was speaking at a dinner to mark the first anniversary of BIK Microfinance Company Limited in Accra.

Microfinance institutions under the tier-two are required to have a minimum paid-up capital of GH¢100,000, while tier-three institutions are required to have a minimum paid-up capital of GH¢60,000. The minimum capital requirement for savings and loans institutions is GH¢7million.

Over the last few years, there have been renewed calls for close regulation of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to ensure compliance and limit depositors’ risks. The Bank of Ghana (BOG) last month suspended the licences of three micro-finance institutions for non-compliance.

“The Client Information and Compliant System (CICS) has been established as a system of redress for receiving clients’ feedback on poor services rendered them by member companies,” Mr. Aheto said.

The Chief Executive Officer of BIK Microfinance Company Limited, Mr. Bright Mark Kelly, called on the BoG to intensify its supervision and monitoring of the sector and close down unscrupulous and unlicensed MFIs who are still involved in illegal business.

“Although the Bank of Ghana has taken steps to regulate, monitor and supervise the sector, there is still a proliferation of MFIs scattered all over the country with some still involved in illegal business,” Bright Mark said.

He said the BIK’s strategic plan is to double its current customer base and to grow into a fully fledged 21st century bank within the next five years.

“The company is committed to working in partnership with all stakeholders to develop the country’s financial sector and raise industry standards and best practices,” he said.

BIK Microfinance Company started operations a little over a year ago. Within a year of its operation, the company has obtained a non-bank financial institution operating licence from the Bank of Ghana.

The company offers excellent and reliable customer services and a wide range of banking products including investment banking, credit facilities, deposit products and business advisory services.

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