Banks must mobilise capital through savings – Otumfuo.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, has asked commercial banks in the country to develop strategies to unravel the mystery surrounding the decision of some Ghanaians to keep huge sums of their cash with them irrespective of the dangers involved.
He was of the view that if the banks developed products that were attractive to the people, they would entice the unbanked, mobilise liquidity and turn them into the needed capital required to propel the local industry to grow and generate employment.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Asokwa branch of the National Investment Bank (NIB) in the Ashanti Region, noted that although banks were increasing and opening branches to get closer to the ordinary Ghanaian, huge sums of liquidity remained outside.
He suggested that if the ordinary Ghanaian was assured of good interest rate on their deposits and other attractive products, they would keep their money in banks.
He commended the Managing Director of NIB, Mr Ernest Agbesi, whose tenure as MD of the bank had been hailed the ‘turnaround period’ for the bank.
Otumfuo said he was a customer of the bank and urged its management to ensure that all debtors of the bank were made to honour their financial obligations to enable the bank to have enough resources to reinvest to grow and remain competitive.
He said it was important that people and businesses that took loans from the bank were made aware that monies from the bank did not belong to the management and board of the bank but the shareholders and depositors.
He also urged the management to institute measures to ensure that those who borrowed from the bank were assisted with investment ideas so that they would be able to grow their businesses and repay their loans on time.
Otumfuo urged Ghanaian banks to start developing products specifically for the agricultural industry.
He noted that such a move would go a long way to speed up the modernisation of the sector to create more job opportunities and to grow the Ghanaian economy.
Exploits of NIB
Mr Agbesi said the bank had a stake in over 20 companies, including Nestle Ghana and Total, and was still assisting local industries to expand their operations.
He said the bank had embarked on a drive to increase its branches to bring quality and customer-friendly services to the doorstep of the customer.
The NIB MD said the bank had introduced new products such as Excel Banking, where customers could stay in their homes, offices and shops while bank officers went around serving them.
He added that the bank had also rolled out a new product where the bank bought home appliances, building materials and other items and offered them to both customers and non-customers at the same cost but paid back in 12 months instalment.