Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, has launched the GHL Bank with the call on management to introduce good corporate governance structures into their operations.
He said the Bank of Ghana would from early next year introduce a new corporate governance structure guides for the industry and it is expected that this would save the corporate governance structures in the Banking industry.
Ghana Home Loans (GHL), the nation’s market leader in mortgage financing, received the universal bank license from the Bank of Ghana on June 23, this year to operate as a bank.
The First Deputy Governor said the collapse of many institutions elsewhere and the current collapse of the two Banks in the country had a lot to do with bad corporate governance structures.
He said the BoG would intensify its supervisory and regulatory activities of the financial industry to ensure its integrity and efficiency and the benefit of liberalisation and competitiveness in the industry are realised.
Dr Opoku Afari expressed the hope that Banks would complement these efforts by introducing good corporate governance practices that ensures its long-term viability.
He said as a regulatory body, it was their prime responsibility to ensure that newly established financial institutions and existing ones have adequate capital to march the risk profile for the business and the capacity to manage risk.
Dr Opoku Afari said now was the time for banks and other non-financial institutions to play a critical role in supporting growth and job creation.
He said a programme to improve on the lending rate computation would be introduced by the BoG soon and it is expected that it would be a true reflection of the market conditions and this should serve as a strong input in Bank decision process of bettering lending rates.
“Looking ahead, Banks must assume proactive roles in their efforts to deepen their financial intermediation through the introduction of a well planned and innovative instruments and products to suite the interest of the public,” he added.
Mr Dominic Adu, CEO of GHL Bank, said: “As a universal bank, they were working with government and building partnerships to make mortgages affordable and creating the environment to making home ownership much easier.”
Mr Adu said the processes to transform the mortgage market leader into a universal bank have already begun, saying: “we have hired a world class team and invested in systems and processes ready to provide a one-stop bank for financial services at every stage of your life, anchored by our core vision to be the foremost bank for wealth creation.
He said management sought to modernize the process of home building and acquisition by introducing its unique suite of products including Home Purchase, Home Construction, and Land Purchase mortgages.
He said gradually they have introduced and entrenched into the Ghanaian psyche the concept of getting a mortgage to purchase a house and living in it and paying for it over 30 years instead of taking 30 years to build a house before moving into it.
“We are transforming into a universal bank in order to grow and expand on our existing offering, to help the average Ghanaian fulfill their dream of acquiring their own home, coupled with the option to buy land as well. As a universal bank, we believe we would have the added advantage to operate in the housing market,” he added
He said as a universal bank their strategy was to build on the impressive foundation to deliver a truly unique experience to our clients, including a comprehensive range of personal, private, and business banking products.
Mr Albert Essien, the Board Chairman, GHL Bank, said the Bank’s entry into the universal banking space has been long awaited and that they have taken time to develop very strong and effective corporate governance structure.
He said the Bank was poised to execute unflinchingly on the many expectations of their clients, shareholders and regulators.
”The Bank of Ghana minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million will be met and deployed prudently,” he said.
Mr Essien said building on the impressive foundation of Ghana Home Loans, GHL Bank would deliver unique experience to clients, with a comprehensive range of personal, private and business banking products.