Business News of 2014-06-09

Customers angry over VAT charges in financial sector

Some bank customers have expressed disgust over the latest list of financial services that would attract the new 17.5% VAT charge. The list released by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) last Friday affects nearly all bank charges.

The financial services, which hitherto had been exempted from VAT, will now from the first of July this year start charging VAT. Thirty two services including fees, commissions and similar charges for financial services will now be slapped with the VAT charge.

For individual clients, some of the services to be affected include closure of accounts, remote banking services including online banking, e-statements, phone banking, mobile banking, sale of cheque leaflet, replacement of lost cheque book among others. Many banks operating in the country will face an uphill task of growth, as some bank customers are already looking for alternatives to saving in banks.

According to a customer of one of the banks “It is going to affect customers negatively because we don’t even have enough money to save. So I will rather make myself a small money box rather than saving in the bank”.

While another lashed out at the GRA for misinforming the public with adverts on VAT. “It’s not going to help, because initially they said what the banks were saying was not true that is why they had all those adverts in the media to educate us. If they go ahead with this, if I’m an employer, I can’t go for loan and will have to reduce the number of employees I have. I will also have to stop saving in the bank”.

Meanwhile scores of bank customers have threatened to withdraw their deposits from the bank if government goes ahead to implement the charge.

“I don’t think I will be encouraged to go to the Bank to make any deposits or withdrawals, it will really kill my spirit. Someone like me, just starting a business and you want to charge me this one, I will simply opt for the susu collector”.

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