Ensure transparency and responsible pricing of products— Micro-finance institutions told

Micro-Finance Institu-tions have been urged to ensure transparency and respon-sible pricing to enable the public to patronise their products and services.

Speaking at the inauguration of the head office of Best Micro Finance Services Limited (BMS) at the Sakumono Estates near Tema, Principal of the National Banking College, Mr. Phillip Buabeng, said appropriate pricing of products would help them to attract more customers.

He said there was also the need for micro-finance institutions to adopt appropriate and ethical debt collection practices.

BMS relocated its head office from Kasoa to the current place after 12 years of distinguished service, to give it the visible presence it deserves.

Mr. Buabeng, urged the management to continue to provide strong governance structures and ensure that robust risk management systems are in place for the continuous safety and soundness of the institution.

“Continue to follow stringent prudential requirement for liquidity and exposure limits. Make sure there is always a liquidity buffer and do not lend beyond capacity,” he advised.

Mr. Buabeng said micro finance had come to supplement the business of mainstream banks which have the tendency to shun the informal sector because they perceive it to be risky.

He said a survey by Finscope Ghana 2010, indicated that 44 per cent of Ghanaian adults were financially excluded because they do not use any form of financial products or mechanisms to manage their financial life formal or informal.

Mr. Buabeng cited high lending rates, negative real deposit rates for retail deposits and lack of access to banking credit especially small and medium enterprises and the informal sector as some of the challenges confronting consumers.

He recommended that regulations for public disclosure and transparency in operations of micro-finance institutions need to be enhanced to help protect consumers and to build confidence in their operations and activities.

The Chief Executive of BMS, Rev. Edward Randolph-Koranteng, said BMS had signed a collaborative agreement with Roraina Group to facilitate the rollout of innovative branchless banking services throughout its projected 430 outlets in Ghana when it is positioned as a financial service hub subject to approval by the regulator.

From Godfred Blay Gibbah,Tema

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