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Business News of Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Ghana’s unbanked population good for new banks- Prof. K. Botchwey

Despite calls to the Bank of Ghana(BoG) to introduce measures that will reduce the number of banks in the country, former Finance Minister, and Chairman of the Board of newly licensed Heritage Bank, Professor Kwesi Botchwey has shot down the assertion.

There are currently about 34 banks in the country, with more awaiting approval from the central bank to commence operations.
According to Prof. Botchwey, there are a considerable number of the population still unbanked, hindering Ghana’s ability to achieve financial inclusion.

Speaking at the launch of the bank at its Airport City Branch, Professor Botchwey maintained that growth prospects of the country are bright hence require more financial institutions.

“We are keenly aware that we are launching this enterprise at a time that most people will say we have too many banks already. We do have too many banks perhaps, the banking space is indeed saturated but we are emboldened to start this enterprise because we all acknowledge that the banking space is saturated,” he observed.

He however added that there is a large part of the population, particularly in the informal sector that are unbanked, hence seeking some form of financial inclusion.
He pointed out that there must be targeted effort to design new products that will encourage the unbanked to enter the financial system of the country.

“We always must recognize that too many, too high a percentage of our people are unbanked. That means that we face a conjecture that is both challenging and full of opportunities,” he said.

He announced that Heritage Bank is seeking to fill that vacuum by providing innovative products to attract the unbanked.

“The way we intend to make our entry is to be different. To be a bank that is efficient, and one that is thoroughly ethical,” he said.