Ekegey's Financial Advice
Many people of this country want to work and make some ends meet for themselves. People want to generate more money for themselves and save for the future fo themselves and their families. If you walk or drive around town and see how various individuals of this country, men, women, young guys and ladies are moving and struggling to make some money, you would definitely tell yourself that these people are not lazy and given the opportunities they would change our world. It is in this vain that the banks’ role in harnessing financial resources enough to enhance the business communities cannot be overemphasised. The crucial questions we need to ask ourselves, however, are whether the banks have been able to provide us with good answers to these needs and those questions I posed in my Monday 14th February article. The banking industry has been supported by various governments with the sole aim of aiding in the developmental drive of the nation. But what is very unfortunate is the fact that the banks have not been able to assist many of our Small and Medium scale Enterprises to grow to the extent to which we needed to rich by now.
In the first place the banks have not encouraged individuals to invest their money with them. The percentage of the banked money in the Ghanaian economy remained 20% for some time now and many analysts have been asking why the banks are not attracting many people to keep their moneys with them. What are the banks doing wrong to detract many Ghanaians from saving their moneys at the bank? Could the bank do something different in order to attract many Ghanaians to have the courage and walk into the banking halls and keep their moneys with them? Are the banks thinking about the need to mop up the rest 80% of moneys in circulation in the country? Or are they just satisfied with the current 20% they are holding in trust of the people and don’t care about where the rest huge percentage of 80% goes? Many of these questions need to be answered by various analysts and the banking industry players.
To us the ordinary persons, however, the answer is simple. The banks are too selfish and do not work in the interest of their clients. Many of the banks have been tooting their horns over the years regarding how customer friendly they are. But the question remains when was the last time you had complete satisfaction at your bank and walk out very excited and remained so till the your next visit? The banks are not ready to pay you enough returns on your investment when you decide to keep your money with them. They collect so much from the borrowers and give you very little. While they are giving their customers who deposit money with them very little, just about 12% maximum for the ordinary saver, they collect as much as 45% from the ordinary borrower. This is ridiculous and unthinkable, when we are all crying that things are not going well with our economy and for that matter our pockets.
Why should the banks be cheating us so much? They are just interested in bettering their lots whiles cheating the system and the ordinary individuals. The ordinary person need just about GH¢5,000.00 or 50 million old cedis to start some small business or just to buy a car but would end up paying about GH¢8,000 or 80 million old cedis back to the bank within just one year. But if you have the same GH¢5,000 and want to keep that with the bank for a period of 12 months, you should be expected to get only GH¢5,600. So when the bank makes as much as GH¢3,000 on that same amount collected from a borrower, they only pay just GH¢600 to the depositor keeping a hooping GH¢2,400 for themselves. How could you do this to society and turn up to say that you are the friend of the people and that you have the interest of your clients at heart?
These postures of the banks do not show any commitment for their roles in contributing to the economic drive of this nation. The banks are not really playing their needed roles in driving this economy to an independent one financially. The banks are supposed to ensure that businesses grow and the business environment is sound and flourished. It is a fact that the more businesses flourish in the country, the more business the banks had to do and the higher returns they make in the future. It is a common place to see people set up some kind of Savings and Loans Company today and within a year you see them ridding in the best four wheel drive car around. The financial industry in Ghana is not helping at all to mobilise and distribute funds properly to the various parts of the economy.
I think the banks need to sit up if they want to see themselves in business for a long time and compete within the global economies, where there are many opportunities for them to make good returns for themselves and their investor clients. I hope they are also listening to the revolutionary waves blowing in Africa. The people are fighting for their rights and doing for themselves what their leaders refuse to do right. When African people realised that the banks are the causes of their desperation regarding their financial freedom and that the banks are just siphoning their scanty financial resources for their selfish gains, the people would stand up to claim their financial freedom from the banks. I hope we don’t sit down till such a time before realising the harm we are causing to humanity.
Thank you and have a good week-end. I hope next time you plan something with your bank you would ensure that you get the best for your money.