Banks urged to contribute more to national development

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey (right), speaking to Mr. Afotey Odarteifio (2nd right), Mr. Doni Kwame, MD of World Trade Centre Accra and Mr. Willing Vanderpuye.Banking institutions in the country have been urged to use their financial clout and influence to impact more on national development. The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, who made the call during a courtesy call on him by the executives of Corporate Initiative Ghana (CIG), organisers of the Ghana Banking Awards also asked the banks to support the growth of the private sector to enable businesses to grow.

His call comes at a time when the banks are reportedly starving small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs) of funds and rather investing in government papers including Treasury Bills (TBs) which is hovering around 23 per cent for a 91-day bill.

The banks, according to their annual statements have made huge profits but their clients, particularly SMEs which need funds to do business are reportedly being denied that on grounds of being too risky a thing to do.

Mr Ashigbey said the banks in Ghana were performing creditably when it came to making profits but there was the need for them to translate that into national development by assisting businesses to grow more to create employment opportunities for the people.

He described the banking awards as a formidable one which went to enhance the competition among the banks in the country.

Mr Ashigbey said Graphic would continue to lend its support to the organisers of the awards to enable them to achieve their objective of making the banking sector more vibrant and competitive.

“It is only when we have a competitive banking sector that we can be able to see the impact they make on their clients and society and we are all for the wards because it is not a foreign one but local”, he said.

The Executive Secretary of CIG, Mr Afotey Odarteifio, who led the delegation said as “organisers, we have always sought to be transparent with the organization of the awards to ensure that we do not compromise the brand”.

He said CIG had always ensured that the technical committee meetings, which was made up of representatives of the banks and the event statisticians including Ernst and Young, were held many times before the survey was conducted “and this is done to ensure that the processes and the ground rules are made clear to all”.

Mr Vanderpuye on his part reiterated the collaboration the two institutions had enjoyed in the past.

This year’s awards, the 12th in a row, has been slated for June and it is expected to attract managers of the banking sector, captains of industry among many other personalities.

Story by Charles Benoni Okine