Major banks and financial institutions in the country have been urged to set up cash outlets in deprived communities to serve the rural population in the Bono Region.
According to Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, this will further whip the interest of the rural folks to save money.
Interacting with the heads of the various financial institutions in the region at a meeting in Sunyani, the Regional Minister emphasized the need for the financial institutions to reach out to the rural population and sell banking policies to the masses.
She noted that it was unfortunate that many farmers and petty traders in rural communities keep their money at home. This is because they cannot easily access banks and financial institutions in their respective communities.
“We cannot continue to deny this our rural population banking services and allow them to risk keeping their money at home,” Madam Owusu-Banahene stated.
She called on the banks to intensify public sensitization on the relevance of saving money in rural communities.
Madam Owusu-Banahene noted that about 60 percent of the regional population were farmers. Hence, the financial institutions need to reach out, build and strengthen relationships with the rural population for mutual benefit.
At the open forum, the Regional Minister implored the financial institutions to contribute to the holistic development of the region by ensuring that they executed their corporate social responsibility programs.
Specifically, the financial institutions should invest in the enhancement of educational and health infrastructure in the region.
Additionally, the financial institutions were asked to find innovative ways of strengthening security in the banks.
Many of the heads of the financial institutions who spoke at the forum agreed that the growth of black market money exchangers in the regional capital is not healthy for the economy.
They called on the government to do more to restrict the activities of the black marketers, which they believe is putting pressure on the Ghana cedi.
Madam Owusu-Banahene also called on financial institutions to create innovative financial products for the underserved communities.
She emphasized that these products should be designed with affordable minimum deposit requirements and simple account opening procedures.
Finally, Madam Owusu-Banahene used the forum to encourage heads of financial institutions to use technology to reach rural communities.
This will help bridge the financial inclusion gap, as many rural dwellers lack access to banking services.
In conclusion, stakeholders in the region are hopeful that the strategic decisions made at the open forum will contribute significantly to extending banking services to the rural communities in the Bono Region.
picture: The Bankers, the Bono Regional Minister and the Chief Director of BRCC