Dr. Joseph France, Head, Policy and Regulation Office, Banking Supervision Department at the Bank of Ghana, has urged banks to periodically organise workshops for their customers to explain the processes involved in complex transactions and trade finance.
Speaking at the opening of the fifth Ghana International Bank (GHIB) four-day international trade finance training programme in Accra, Mr. France said through these training workshops banks will obtain the necessary feedback to enable them deliver better services.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Trade finance is the life-blood of international commerce, without which the exchange of goods and services will come to a standstill. Banks play a key role in this process and understanding the customer and practices is critical in strengthening the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s financial services and commerce.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We at the Bank of Ghana are committed to promoting forums for the discussion and communication of issues affecting the banking community in particular and the economy in general. That is why I am particularly delighted that GHIB continues to deliver this programme every year,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
GHIB has over 50 years presence in the heart of the city of London, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leading financial centre. Incorporated in the UK in 1998 to take over the operations of Ghana Commercial Bank, GHIB is unique in that it is a Ghanaian owned bank licensed by the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority.
Chief Executive Officer of the bank Joe Mensah said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are a bank with a difference-a city of London bank. We combine our rapidly growing relationships across the continent with international expertise and correspondent links to all major global financial institutions. It is this rich unique experience that we want to share with the banking and business community.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He said the bank focuses on four key area: international trade finance, correspondent and corporate banking, treasury and transactional banking services. Ã¢â‚¬Å“For organisations doing business in Africa the bank provides a gateway to the global financial system, providing access, expertise, capital and extensive cross-border capabilities.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The bankÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s exposure in the region has been growing rapidly and is currently in excess of US$490million.
The growth in GHIBÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Africa operation is reflected in the surge in both the bankÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s balance sheet that has more than doubled in the past 10 years and its pre-tax profits, which has increased some fivefold during the same period.
The bank has a total asset in excess of US$1billion and is considered a top-tier bank in the London market in terms of profitability and operational efficiency.
Mark Arthur, Senior Manager at the bank and a trained lawyer in banking and finance with 26 years banking experience said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are excited about the next four days, we will cover the full range of trade finance products, recent issues in international trade finance, risk assessment, money laundering, and fraud as well as practical problem-solving.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am particularly impressed with the diversity of the experience among this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s delegates, which will no doubt enrich our conversations.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He delivered the programme together with Matthew Parris, Head of International Finance and Barbara Tetteh, Head, Corporate Banking at the Accra representative office. About 35 bankers and senior business executives attended the programme.