Home Business Rural Ghana Seeks Financial Inclusion Amid GN Bank’s Absence

Rural Ghana Seeks Financial Inclusion Amid GN Bank’s Absence

GN Bank
GN Bank

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the founder of the defunct Groupe Nduom Savings Loans Company, says the gap between the banked and unbanked populations continues to widen due to the absence of GN Bank.

He said universal commercial banks in the country were often reluctant to open branches in rural areas, which constitute the majority of the unbanked populations.

In an ongoing tour of the branches of the defunct bank in Elmina, Cape Coast, and Mankessim, Dr. Nduom said that since the collapse of the GN Bank in 2019, existing banks had not made the effort to establish outlets in rural areas.

“Have you seen any bank occupy our facilities since our bank went down? We are the only bank that cares for the rural population and the unbanked in the country. We are the only bank you will find in most of the rural areas, and since the time we left, no bank has attempted to invest in such areas. A vacuum in the unbanked sector has been created due to our absence,” he said.

Dr. Nduom said the rural part of the country had many untapped financial potentials that needed urgent attention from financial institutions.

The untapped potential, according to him, included a thriving agriculture sector that needed additional capital to scale and growing small and medium-sized enterprises that also needed soft loans to grow their businesses.

Dr. Nduom said these valuable services that were critical to engendering financial inclusion had been absent in the rural parts of the country since the collapse of GN Bank.

As part of the effort to revive the defunct GN Bank and recover its banking license from the Central Bank, the bank had taken steps to engage relevant stakeholders, notably former customers and staff.

Mr. Nana Yaw Mintah, a trader and resident of Takoradi, said access to credit in the community had become extremely difficult since businesses were unable to meet the credit requirements of the existing banks.

He said the existing financial institutions in the community often doubt the creditworthiness of small businesses.

He said prior to the revocation of the GN Bank’s license, it was the only financial institution that easily granted credit to small businesses.

Mrs. Abena Ofori, a trader at the Kotokraba market in Cape Coast, indicated that no financial institution had made any effort to replace GN Bank.

She urged the government to do the needful by restoring the license of the bank to ease the affairs of the traders in saving their money and accessing credit.

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