Operators Advocate Shared Services Among African Banks
Category: Products & Services
Friday, November 11, 2011 9:04 AM
In order to drastically reduce the cost of operations and cost of funds of banks in the African region , operators have called for collaboration among commercial banks in countries across the continent through the shared services platform.
The bankers, who spoke at the on-going African Business Leaders Forum (ABLF) tagged: “Enhancing Africa's Business Opportunities through Effective Public Private Partnerships,” in Accra yesterday, argued that the initiative would also bring about efficiency in the system.
In his presentation, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited, Mr. Daniel Asiedu, insisted that the shared services platform would place banks in position to win big-ticket transactions.
“What that means is that my (Zenith Bank Ghana’s) overhead would come down and I would be able to pass that on to customers. Today, we all have Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cards and you can see about three different banks’ ATM at same location. The point is that we must work towards a common platform where there would be one ATM serving the customers of all the banks in Ghana.
“These are the areas that I think we need to collaborate and we need to trust each other. Otherwise, what happens at the end of the day is that we have stronger international banks that would pick the transactions. So, there are so many ways we can collaborate as banks,” he explained.
Similarly, a former Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana, Mr. Emmanuel Asiedu-Mante, maintained that the initiative would help drive down bank rate and charges, which he pointed out had been the complaints of customers in the country.
On his part, Ghana's Minister of Communications, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, highlighted the importance of facilitating strong public-private partnerships to spur growth on the continent.
According to him, there was need for the continent to establish both strong leadership and strong institutions. He also stressed the need to recognise the private sector as a partner to government in enhancing social and economic development.
Iddrisu said: "Today, we are a beacon of hope when it comes to stable and peaceful democracies in Africa. In Ghana, we have set the example. What Africa needs to do beyond building strong institutions, is to facilitate the private sector in partnering government. We have a unique opportunity - investment opportunities abound - and we can make a change in the lives of our people by making good choices about how we leverage our abundant natural resources."