The Governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison has commended the Standard Chartered Bank (Stanchart) for it uncompromising respect to standards, quality and good corporate governance.
That, he said, afforded the bank the integrity that was essential for public competence.
“As a bank which was introduced in the Ghanaian market some 120 years ago, the success of the bank hinged on the provision of better quality product and services, competitive prices and good corporate governance structures,” he said.
He made these remarks at the official opening of the Stanchart head office in Accra on October 3.
Dr Addison said the bank was doing business in an atmosphere of fair competition and in a stable and predictable liberal framework.
He ,therefore, called on banks, especially those that were locally owned to emulate the best practices of the Standard Chartered Bank, in particular, the strength of its corporate governance.
“We urge other banks, as well as the local Ghanaian banks to emulate these standards, especially the strength of its cooperate governance,” he added.
He also called on the bank to continue to draw on its strength, knowledge of the local market, professionalism and customer focus culture to develop products and services to meet the needs of the fronting public.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his keynote address said aside the reduction in the various indicators in the financial sector such as inflation and Treasury bill rates, lending rates were still high.
He said the gap between the decline in inflation and the lending rates charged by banks needed to be bridged because there was not a correlation among the primary inflation rate, the government’s monitory policy rate and the lending rates in general.
“I want to make an appeal to all banks to reduce their lending rates because the last 21 months have witnessed a decline in inflation from 15.4 per cent in 2016 to 11.8 per cent in December 2017, to 9.9 per cent at the end of August 2018,” he said.
He explained that the monitory policy rate which controled the cost of borrowing to ensure price stability and general trust in the currency had also reduced from 25.5 per cent in 2016 to 17 per cent.
“The 91 day Treasury bill rate has fallen down from 17 in 2016 to 13.3 per cent, nevertheless, bank’s lending rates still remain high,” he noted.
Therefore, he said banks have to give substantive complement to the government’s effort to maintaining fiscal discipline by bringing down lending rates.
“My challenge to all banks is to help the government achieve the vision of a Ghana in a globally completive lookout,” he added.
Private sector-led economy
The President said his government was determined to create a vibrant financial and banking sector which would ensure the growth of the economy.
That, he said, could come to fruition when the private sector comes to be the main driving focus.
“This hinges on the reduction of lending rates which would make the private sector lead socio-economic transformation in the country,” he said.
“Lending rates must come down and must come down early because I am in a hurry; I am in a hurry because the people of Ghana are in a hurry.”
“If we are to put this confidence onto a path of progress and prosperity, the private sector would only have to came and be its main driving focus, and to that end, banks play a critical role,” he added.
He, however, admitted that although there were seemingly perennial problems such as slowdown to credit for the private sector and financial inclusion, the government was putting in place pragmatic steps to address the issues.
“In response to these, the government has introduced a number of policies to address the challenges. The introduction of the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS) which is currently before cabinet will help increase the gallantry of financial services from 58 per cent in 2013 to some 85 per cent by 2022 when implemented,” he said. — GB