Business News of 2014-03-06

GCB stands by new minimum balance

The Ghana Commercial Bank Limited (GCB) says the increase in its minimum balance for savings account is to stop its abuse for regular day to day transactions.

Customers of the bank on the March 3, were outraged at the increase of the minimum balance for savings account from GHC 5 to GHC 50.

The customers said there was no prior notification from the bank of the impending changes.

Speaking to Citi Business News, a customer who gave his name as Ernest said some of the customers at the GCB branch on the high street were left stranded.

The GCB has been grappling with moves to increase its minimum balance for years due to its customer base who are largely farmers, traders, small and medium enterprises.

But according to the bank, its customers can opt for a current account which has a zero minimum balance in case of any difficulty with the new directive.

The Head of Corporate Affairs of GCB, Mrs. Tyra Obuobi, in an interview with Citi Business News said the bank is convinced about the intent of the new directive and will not be changed.

“We are using all platforms available through our 158 branches to also educate our customers to appreciate this, it’s not just to slap something on them but to encourage them to save and run a current account which we also have for their use”, she explained.

Meanwhile, a Banking consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong said the latest move by the Ghana commercial bank limited might open up space and even increase its customer base.

He said: “People already in the system will remain in the system and those who are outside the system once they see that there is sanitization in the system, there is less queuing in the bank’s branches and so on they will then come in”.

According to Nana Otuo Acheampong, presently, those using the savings account and current account are overcrowding some of the GCB branches and driving away those who would have wanted to access some of their services.