The Government of Ghana expects access to finance to increase from 58 percent to 85 percent by the year 2023, representing an anticipated increase of about 27 percent.
This is captured under the National Financial Sector Development and Inclusion Strategy (2018-2023) and was iterated by Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzie, the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana in a speech addressing the press at a media sensitization programme, aimed at reviewing the role of the media in fostering a resilient Special Deposit-taking Institutions (SDIs) sector after the financial sector clean-up.
“Under the National Financial Sector Development and Inclusion Strategy (2018-2023), Government expects an increase in access to finance from the current rate of 58 percent to 85 percent by 2023”.
Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi stated that many individuals and businesses do not have access to financial services and thus, presents Special Deposit-taking Institutions with prospects for growth. More so, she added that Special Deposit-taking Institutions are expected to be the key driver for financial inclusion, which is a requisite for socio-economic development in the Ghanaian economy.
“We expect the SDI sector to be the key delivery channel for financial inclusion, a key requirement for Ghana’s socio-economic advancement. There are still many Ghanaians and businesses that do not have access to savings products and credit facilities, and this presents opportunities for the SDI sector to grow”
Again, the Second Deputy Governor went on to say that to achieve this, the Special Deposit-taking Institutions are expected to review their business models to ensure that they are in line with the public policy objective of fostering financial inclusion by providing financial services for households, marginalised groups and small-scale entities who may not have access to banking services.
“We expect SDIs to refine their business models and ensure that they are aligned to the policy objective for which the sector was created. In the case of the Savings and Loans Companies and Finance Houses Companies, the policy objective is to fill the “missing middle”, i.e. segments such as the SME sector, that the banks typically would not service. For Microfinance Companies and Microcredit Companies, we expect them to continue to expand access to finance to the informal sector, micro businesses, low-income households, and marginalized groups such as women entrepreneurs, youth entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and similar groups”.
Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi further asserted that the SDIs must adapt to evolving technological advancements in the financial sector to remain relevant. However, such digital financial services should be provided for their customers who are most vulnerable in society at affordable prices. Additionally, she encouraged SDIs to practice good corporate governance by implementing robust internal controls and risk management policies to maintain quality service delivery.
“To stay true to their mandate, and to stay relevant in our fast-evolving technology-driven financial industry, SDIs must prioritise good governance including strong internal controls and risk management, and customer care, and ensure that they keep their eye on the quantity and quality of capital they have when making business decisions. We expect them to embrace digital financial services to provide more financial services on a cost-effective basis to the vulnerable groups in our society. They can, however, only do this when they have the right amounts of capital to invest in cutting-edge technology, strong and independent Boards of Directors, expert human capital, and effective internal controls”.