Two New Banking Bills In The Offing

GN BankThe Bank of Ghana is in the process of finalising a new banks and specialised deposit-taking institution bills in response to emerging trends in the country’s banking landscape.

The bills seeks to address key weaknesses in the regulatory framework as well as build a safety net for small savers through the introduction of a deposit insurance scheme in Ghana.

Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana who disclosed this at the launch of the rebranded First National Bank to GN Bank in Accra yesterday said the two bills would bolster the supervisory framework and build confidence into the country’s banking sector.

Under the new brand name, the GN Bank would operate as a universal bank as well as a social and enterprise development institution.

GN Bank was licensed by the Bank of Ghana in May 2006 as First National Savings and Loans Limited and within a year of operation recorded an asset base of GH¢5.2 million.

This base has grown steadily over the last eight years to GH¢388.5 million at the end of June 2014 making it one of the fastest growing non-bank financial institutions in the country.

“The bills have received wide input from both domestic and external constituents and would be placed before our lawmakers in due course for further debate before passage into law,” he said.

On GN Bank he said the establishment of additional banking institutions would engender healthy competition in banking system driven by appropriate business models that seek to address the financial needs of the banking public.

“I welcome GN Bank into the banking sector. Expectations are high and you must hit the ground running with requisite financial solutions to impact on the lives of your target market,” he said.

A deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs. Mona Helen Quartey stated that the 2010 FinScope survey indicated that about 44 per cent Ghanaian adults do not use any form of formal services.

She said the World Bank Financial Access Survey in 2012 also revealed that only about 29 per cent Ghanaian adults have bank accounts with formal financial institutions.

“Therefore, it is obvious as well as important that with the current penetration rate of banking services, multiple channels will have to be developed to bring financial services to our people,” she said.

She said government was focusing on these ideals and would continue to promote a competitive environment.

She said it would also continue to implement reforms to strengthen the legal and institutional environment, as well as aim the best standard regulatory practice to ensure stability of the financial system.

“It is the government objective to continue the development of the financial sector by increasing the frontiers of access to financial services, improving credit provision and scaling up saving-investments levels,” she added

Mrs. Quartey said the GN Bank, would provide a full range of universal banking services that will cater for all sectors of the economy, with particular focusing on the small, medium and micro enterprises.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, Board Member of the GN Bank commended the Bank of Ghana for its supervision during the years and other banks for their contribution.

“We appreciate the efforts of the board of directors, management and loyal employees who over the years have given us valuable advice that we have used to improve our operations,” he added

The Chief Executive Officer of GN Bank, Mr. Patrick Anumel in his welcome address said the bank started with only one branch in October 2006 and 107 branches in 2014 with locations across the country and 1,530 staff strength.

He said First National over the years had developed its human resource with discipline and service culture supported by technology which contributed to make banking services to its customers.

By Anita Nyarko & Carolin Galle

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