Banking and finance industry must adopt innovative and result-oriented practices to help boost the economy, Dr. Sam Ankrah, Chief Executive of Africa Investment Group has said.
“If Ghana is going to get out of the economic doldrums it is currently residing in, it will take a more dynamic, creative, innovative and result-oriented domestic banking and finance industry at the forefront of a collective sustainable and team effort to stimulate our local economy,” he said.
Dr. Ankrah said this at the 14th Ghana Banking Awards themed: “Identifying and Rewarding Excellence in the banking services proposition”, in Accra at the weekend.
Organised by Corporate Initiative Ghana, the event aimed to reward individuals and banks for their innovation and excellence in the industry.
Ecobank Ghana Limited won the coveted bank of the year award and many other awards in the 16 categories that saw Unibank, Royal Bank, GCB, Fidelity Bank, Barclays Bank, Bank of Baroda, winning in different categories.
Others are CAL Bank, Capital Plus Bank, adb, Prudential Bank, First Atlantic Bank, Access Bank, Zenith Bank and UT Bank.
He said the government, businesses and individuals must work together by doing what is right to achieve economic prosperity.
While acknowledging the contributions of cash crops to the growth of the economy, he said it was time the banking sector does introspection of its contribution to value addition to cash crops.
Dr. Ankrah said the picture looked bleak because the banking sector had relied on collateral lending for so long.
He said Ghana had shied away from the ground-breaking exploits which had been the driving force of economic prospects of the ‘tiger economies’.
With the ever growing pool of unemployed graduates hitting about 680,000 and a projected 68,000 graduating from the tertiary institutions every year, Dr. Ankrah held the view that orienting the graduates on entrepreneurial ventures could open up the economy new and profitable ideas.
Touching on the theme, he said standards in customer relations management and practice should be the benchmark for identifying and rewarding excellence.
He said banking excellence required dynamism and policy legislation to solve problems confronting the industry.
He said if the right policy legislations were in place, the government would not have invested the stabil-sation and heritage funds of $500 million in foreign portfolios at two and five per cent respectively.
Enumerating a litany of such conundrum, he said there could not be any justification why Europe and America have taken over the housing industry, borrowing with conditions that are necessarily in the country’s sovereign interest and investment by non-Ghanaian firms.
For Ghana to rake in long term profits in the housing industry, he said, there was the need to lead a domestic housing finance strategy by partnering with experts.
Mr. George Mensah-Asante, Executive Director, Domestic Banking, Ecobank in an interview with The Ghanaian Times, expressed joy on the success of the bank.
He said the bank considered customer satisfaction a priority and would improve on it.
By Malik Sullemana