Happenings in the banking sector in Ghana have dominated discussions in the local media and on social media platforms in the last couple of months for obvious reasons. Seven local banks collapsed within the space of two years resulting in literally thousands of job losses. Some banking experts and economists portend that what the nation is faced with presently is nothing short of a banking sector Crises.
Bank of Ghana`s bid to sanitize the banking sector by cracking the whip has been hailed by many economists. However, this is not all there is to this matter. In spite of the challenges the now defunct banks faced which ultimately resulted in their licenses being withdrawn there are certain aspects of their modus operandi that endeared them to many customers, particularly the speed with which certain banking services were provided.
Recently a customer of one of the ‘big’ banks in Ghana had an unpleasant and inconveniencing experience when he sought to make a cheque deposit into his account. The cheque was duly received and an endorsed pay in slip given to the customer. He was assured that the cheque deposit will reflect in his account within the next three working days since the cheque was from another bank.
While at work the following day, this customer was called by a representative of the bank and informed that his account was dormant and that the bank is unable to follow through with the process until the account is reactivated. He was told what he needed to do to ensure that his account is reactivated; he was asked to present some items, which he eventually did the following day.
What could take barely five minutes to complete with many of the local banks proved a tough nut to crack; this customer was asked to complete a detailed update form aside the specified items he presented to allow for the reactivation of his account. Unknown to him, a cash deposit of a fixed amount was required, an amount he didn`t readily have on him. He had to return to the bank another day with the intent of making the cash deposit.
Just when he was about making the cash deposit, one of the items he had supplied a couple of days back was said to be faint and as such not acceptable. The customer had to visit the bank another day to supply the requested item – his most recent electricity bill payment slip. His account was eventually reactivated. What could have taken the customer a couple of minutes to complete took approximately 8 days – 5 visits to the said banking hall and a couple of days more for the cheque deposit to reflect in his account. Several other clients have had to settle for the apparent delays and bureaucracies that typically occasion accessing banking services in some banks.