A specialised bank focused on providing financial services to the construction sector has officially opened to consumers. The Construction Bank (Ghana) Limited will provide banking services in project and mortgage financing, commercial and consumer banking to the real estate sector and for infrastructural development.
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, last Wednesday unveiled a plaque to officially open the bank, located in the plush Octagon building in the heart of Accra.
The new bank has yellow, blue and green as its primary colours, with integrity, respect, innovation and client focus as its core values.
Present at the launch included Members of Parliament (MPs), ministers of state, former and current government officials, actors in the construction and real estate sectors, as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
The Vice-President said the bank had come at the right time to help the country close its housing and infrastructural deficits.
Dr Bawumia bemoaned the high mortgage rates in the country, saying, Ghana had the highest income to mortgage ratio in the world.
He expressed the hope that the bank would work closely with the construction and real estate sectors to address the housing gap, adding: “I see the launch of the Construction Bank as one which will replace the defunct Bank for Housing and Construction.”
“The failure of the Bank for Housing and Construction several years ago should teach you a lot of lessons by providing tailor-made services to meet the needs of your consumers,” he said.
Dr Bawumia emphasised the government’s commitment to formalise the economy by providing a national identification (ID) system, a national digital addressing system and interoperability of payments system by the close of the year.
The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mr Millison Narh, advised the management of the bank to provide innovative products that would meet the growing needs of players in the sector.
He said although the construction sector was a significant contributor to growth in the economy, its performance had been on the decline in recent years and, therefore, required action, such as specialised financing to reverse the trend.
Mr Narh also urged the new bank to institute internal control measures, including risk control, to safeguard itself against money laundering.
“You must take into cognisance the various risks in the banking sector. This you can do by using information technology as control measures and adhere strictly to know your customer (KYC) rules to address these challenges,” he said.
For his part, the Board Chairman of the bank, Dr Asare Akuffo, said the birth of The Construction Bank was a long-cherished dream to provide financial solutions to the construction sector.
“Our vision is clearly to be the bank of choice for construction and infrastructure development financing with our name synonymous with innovation, technology, quality customer care and affordability,” he said.
Dr Akuffo promised that the financial institution would build a bespoke bank that would capture the needs of the industry players in the construction sector “as we plan to open branches in Kumasi, Sekondi Takoradi and Tamale”.
The Chairman of the Construction Sector, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr Rockson Dogbegah, told the Daily Graphic that, “It’s a joy to have a bank specifically for the construction sector. It contributes very significantly to the economy.”