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Business News of Thursday, 25 June 2020

Source: B&FT Online

Savings & Loans must synergise to grow – Vish Ashiagbor


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Country Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Ghana, Vish Ashiagbor, has said that Savings and Loans Companies (S&L) now more than ever need to synergise to grow the sector and have a bigger operational portfolio.

The S&L industry has been in distressing times over recent past years, following the regulator’s introduction of measures to sanitise the financial sector which included recapitalisation and corporate governance directives.

This has been exacerbated by impacts of the coronavirus pandemic which have slowed economic activities, thereby affecting profitability of the industry as well as increasing the cost of operations.

It is due to some of these challenges that Mr. Ashiagbor is urging the association to put in a lot of effort to synergise, as he feels the industry’s future strongly hinges on how well all players come together to support each other’s operation for growth, especially in these pandemic times.

“As individual organisations, you should have internal synergies that you can derive to simplify business operating models. Even if it is in terms of how your front-end staff liaise with the core of your operations and the back-end staff, there should be internal synergies that you can derive to facilitate your growth.

“Synergies between each other is something that you can look at; those type of synergies will revolve around the type of standard that you want to operate as a group, so that you hold yourselves accountable as a group, and with this you grow. When this happens, you also grow as individual members of the group as well; because, ultimately, as much as you are in an association, you are independent businesses trying to serve different customers in the same market,” Mr. Ashiagbor said.

He further charged the association to also find pragmatic and innovative ways to form synergies with external stakeholders like the regulator, depositors and suppliers: “It is possible that you can have shared facilities; it is possible that you can have shared platforms; it is possible that you can have a shared mechanism for dealing with all these external parties.

“These are all areas of synergy that I think you can and should look at. But as I said, the specific types of synergy and how you look for those will depend very much on where you are in your growth journey as individual organisations, and what works of respective parties are coming together,” he said.

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