'Entry to universal banking still open'
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) says that it has not closed the door to new banks wishing to enter the Ghanaian market, except that each application will be processed on its merit and the value proposition it promises the economy.
Speaking at the presentation of the 2015 Banking Survey by the accounting firm, PricewaterHouseCoopers (pwc) in Accra last Wednesday, the Director of the Banking Supervision Department of the BoG, Mr Franklin Belnye, said, “We’ve not shut the doors to new banks.
We will look at each application on its merit, especially the value that it brings to the economy.”
Mr Belnye, who was answering questions on whether, with the saturation of banks, many of which are small, the BoG would still allow new banks to operate in the country.
He said at the moment an application was being processed for an Islamic bank which would operate along Sharia principles.
Last year saw the licensing of the GN Bank to operate as a universal bank, Fidelity Bank taking over ProCredit, the completion of the First Bank of Nigeria’s takeover arrangements with the International Commercial Bank, with the South African bank, FNB, also starting operations in the country this year.
With the growth in mobile (electronic) money facilitated by the telecom companies, the banking regulator also issued guidelines to regulate the emerging area.
The 2015 PWC Banking Survey indicates that in spite of the stiff competition, the banking sector has grown over the past five years to 2014 and will continue to soar for the next five years to 2020.
The Country Senior Partner of the pwc, Mr Vish Ashiagbor, said it was gratifying that in spite of the stiff competition, the banking sector had witnessed steady growth over the past five years, a trend which was likely to continue into 2020.
“Between 2010 and 2014, the banking industry has seen a cumulative 31.1 per cent growth in assets. Similarly, deposits also grew by 28.9 per cent in the same period,” he stated.
For the next five years to 2020, he said, assets of banks would grow from the current GH¢67.46 billion to GH¢261.55 billion, while deposits would reach GH¢133.75 billion from the GH¢37.66 billion the sector was expected to mobilise by the close of this year.
The 2015 Banking Survey was on the theme: “Bank of the future: What bank customers want to experience by 2020”. It gauged the opinion of senior banking leaders and customers – current and potential – on the possible future shape of the Ghana banking industry in 2020.
Customers expressed their views around banks’ products and services, channels, technology, organisation and talent.
They also expressed their views on whether banks operating in the country today generally fitted the mould of the Bank of the Future; were on track to fit that mould by 2020 or were unlikely to attain the Bank of the Future status by 2020.
Customers gave high marks — above 60 per cent — to attributes of banking services that mattered most to them in creating delightful experiences.
The attributes are: security (83%), convenience (82%), speed in service (79%), simplicity (76%).
The rest are affordability (74%), product variety (66%), credit availability (65%) and familiarity (62%).
The survey pointed out that bank executives also placed a lot of emphasis on technology shaping the future of banking, as it received 100 per cent endorsement from the responding executives.
This is a higher rating for technology in banking than the 64 per cent of respondents assigning importance to it in last year’s survey.