Mr Kenneth K.
Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance on Tuesday noted that control of the financial sector by indigenous companies is a matter of National Security.
“There are certain risks, a foreign financial institution will never take including; lending to Small, and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“Unless we support our financial institutions to lend to SMEs, Ghana will never develop.
We put a great deal of premium on foreign financial institutions, forgetting that some of those institutions we admire have been in business for over 200 years,” Mr Thompson told the Ghana News Agency at Sunyani in the Bono Region.
Mr Thompson said it took time, patience and foresight, stressing that these financial institutions had survived many storms, battered and bruised, and approached the shore, masts broken, sails torn and taking in water by the ship full.
He said in 2007–2008, during the global financial crisis, some of foreign financial institutions worshiped in Ghana had to run for cover without recovering.
He called for support to the growth of local finance institutions to support businesses; “One day, these institutions will be financing Ghanaian companies in cross border transactions.
The South African and Nigerian banks have done that well in Ghana”.
Me Thompson noted that payroll lending is great but if all Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFI’s) become payroll lenders, there would be no development.
“Who would finance our SMEs? “What our NBFI’s require is tough love, not vilification.
“A lot has been done and a lot more can be done to strengthen NBFI’s, the Bank of Ghana Corporate Governance Directives, calibrated over time, will strengthen corporate governance”.
He said institutions must also work extra hard to get rid of the perception that they were run by rouges and encouraged the Bank of Ghana to introduce a Bank Verification Number (BVN) system as implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said the BVN was an eleven-digit number that acted as universal identification in all commercial banks in Nigeria, which helped to prevent issues of identity theft, reduced fraud, enhanced the banking industry’s chances of being able to fish out blacklisted customers and encouraged standardization of banking operations.
Mr Thompson who is a financial expert said the actions would increase investor confidence, attract funds to the financial sector and ultimately reduce the cost of operations and the cost of loans to SMEs.
He said “Ghana will not develop if we do not have a strong and vibrant financial sector to support SMEs.
The more we work together to strengthen it, the better for all us”.
On ways to revamp the sector, Mr Thompson noted that a lot was done and a lot more can be done to strengthen NBFI’s, stressing that the Bank of Ghana Corporate Governance Directives, calibrated over time, would strengthen corporate governance.
He also called on institutions to work extra hard to get rid of the perception that they were run by rouges.
Mr Thompson also called on the judicial system to dispatch commercial cases expeditiously; “These actions will increase investor confidence, attract funds to the financial sector and ultimately reduce the cost of operations and the cost of loans to SME’s.
He said “Ghana will not develop, if we do not have a strong and vibrant financial sector to support SMEs.
The more we work together to strengthen it, the better for all us.