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Business News of Thursday, 22 October 2015

Source: B&FT

Bank customers urged to stop misapplying credit facilities

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Head of Credit Administration at Prudential Bank Limited (PBL), H. T. Ayernor, has charged bank customers to desist from misapplying credit facilities in order to save their businesses from collapse.

He pointed out that some customers often apply for credit to fund genuine businesses, “But upon receipt of the credit divert those funds to other ventures that usually do not yield the expected returns”.

Mr. Ayernor was speaking at the second in a series of seminars aimed at sensitising customers to the judicious management of credit facilities. This follows the first seminar held for 180 customers in Kumasi recently.

The second seminar, held at the Eagles Lodge, Takoradi, attracted 105 participants made up of small and medium enterprises (SME), corporate and high-net-worth customers.

The participants were taken through a number of topics including business funding options, credit application procedures, credit facilities management, international trade finance options/requirements, as well as the bank’s electronic banking services.

The Head of Credit Administration advised the participants to adhere strictly to repayment schedules and proper interest cost management. “Overdraft facilities should be operated within the credit limits to avoid penal interest payments. It is also important to make regular lodgments to reduce the balance on the overdraft,” he added.

Mr. Ayenor said Prudential Bank is well-positioned to offer various funding options to its customers, including equity, short and long-term revolving, and standby loans. He cited other credit products of the bank as overdrafts, scheme/salaried worker loans, and loans for churches.

“We also offer export-related facilities such as pre-shipment advance, export development and agricultural investment funding (EDAIF). Other non-funded facilities such as guarantees, bid securities, performance guarantee/bond, mobilisation guarantee and Letters of Credit etc. are all available for customers who are engaged in export and trade businesses,” he added.

In his presentation on international banking, the Deputy Head of the International Banking Department of Prudential Bank Patrick Odonkor said international business is profitable but very risky, and thus cautioned customers to take the necessary precautions when trading with overseas partners.

“It is important for customers to follow procedures carefully, particularly when it is related to making payments to companies abroad,” he stated. He further advised that customers should always respect deadlines for delivery of promised documents, as failure to do so will affect future outward transfers.

Eric Taylor, who is the Head of the bank’s Internet Banking Unit (INU), introduced participants to the bank’s e-banking service, netWise, and noted that the facility was launched as part of the bank’s efforts to help customers save time and also operate their accounts more conveniently.

“You can check your balances, request for chequebooks, query the status of your cheques, and also view transactions on your accounts without visiting the bank. All you need is access to the Internet,” he told participants, and also assured them that “transactions carried out on netWise are done in real-time”.

Some of the participants who spoke expressed their delight with the netWise product, and also thanked the bank for the seminar -- which they said had made them aware of the benefits of effective banking and good financial management.