26 April 2018

Ghana: Reinvest Your Profits in the Economy - Govt Urges Foreign Banks

The government has urged foreign banks operating in the country to be more interested in reinvesting their profits in the economy than repatriating it to their home countries.

Such reinvestment, it says, would help to grow the Ghanaian economy from which the banks would continue to benefit.

"We wish to urge the banks to be slow in repatriating their profits," said Kweku Kwarteng, a Deputy Minister of Finance.

Mr. Kwarteng, who made the call when he launched the rebranding of HFC Bank to Republic Bank in Accra on Tuesday, said although the government appreciates the need for the banks to honour obligations to their foreign shareholders, it would be beneficial to reinvest in the host country's economy.

He also urged banks to cut down their reliance on financing government related businesses and engage in more business with the private sector to enhance sustainable economic growth.

He said it is understandable that the banks are more comfortable in financing government related activities due to the guarantee of recouping their funds irrespective of how long it takes, "but the culture of private sector relying on government business remains a problem that is restraining private sector growth".

In that regard, he urged the Republic Bank to make a difference in those areas.

He said the government was confident that Republic Bank would use its vast experience in its operations in various countries and cultures to make a difference in advancing the growth of the banking industry in Ghana.

Mr. Kwarteng also reminded the new bank of the need to continue housing financial business which was the dream that built HFC Bank.

The rebranding follows the takeover in 2015 of HFC Bank by Republic Financial Holdings Limited of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Anthony Jordan, Managing Director of the bank, in his address, said the rebranding climaxed a transformation the bank had undergone over the last three years, describing the strategy used as "fixing the plane in the air".

"The bank has seen significant improvements in areas of Recoveries, Human Resources, Staff Development, Corporate Culture, Branch Outlook, Brand Visibility, Cost Management, Deposit Mobilisation and many more areas.

"This rebranding is a strong signal that we are here to stay, and to ensure we enhance our effectiveness in every sphere of our banking operations.

This rebranding will reassure and boost our customers' confidence in us that we are a global bank and we are able to meet all their financial needs.

According to him, "the new brand reflects our capabilities, innovation, our energy and our new found aggression to be a key player in Ghana's oil and gas sector and the retail space".

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