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Fidelity Bank MD shares thoughts on Ghana’s financial sector


2 months ago
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 Fidelity Bank Managing Director, Julian Opuni, recently shared his perspectives on key issues impacting Ghana's financial sector during an interview with Oxford Business Group. His insights shed light on the positive impact of the Ghana Card, potential opportunities arising from the Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP), and strategies for deepening financial inclusion across the country.

Opuni commended the Ghana Card for its significant contributions to the financial sector, particularly in enhancing security measures and combating fraud. He emphasized the card's state-of-the-art biometric features, real-time data capabilities, and seamless integration with existing systems, citing its role in promoting accurate Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance and anti-money laundering efforts.

Moreover, Opuni underscored the Ghana Card's role in facilitating digital transactions and mobile banking, heralding a shift towards a more cashless and inclusive society. He remarked, ‘‘Traditional and financial technology (fintech) institutions can leverage the comprehensive database to offer diverse financial services, promoting cashless transactions. These advancements contribute to a more inclusive financial ecosystem by removing barriers to entry, especially for the economically disadvantaged. By streamlining the online and in-person account opening process, the Ghana Card provides accessible formal identification, particularly for those in remote areas”

Addressing the challenges posed by the Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP) to financial institutions, Opuni acknowledged the significant restructuring hurdles but also identified potential opportunities. He noted how the program has altered the risk profile of public sector instruments, potentially making private-sector credit more appealing to banks in the future. Opuni anticipates a potential resurgence in private-sector lending and investment as economic conditions improve and borrowing rates decline.

He stated: “Looking ahead, there is potential for a rebound in private sector lending and investment. The DDEP has reshaped the risk profile of public-sector financial instruments, prompting banks to view private-sector credit more favourably. As the macroeconomic landscape and business sentiment gradually improve, coupled with decreasing borrowing and inflation rates, private sector credit may become more attractive for banks deploying their assets.”

Opuni reiterated Fidelity Bank's commitment to financial inclusion as a cornerstone of economic growth and equality. He outlined the bank's comprehensive approach, encompassing technological innovation, strategic partnerships, and financial literacy initiatives to extend access to underserved communities. He remarked, “A dedicated focus on financial literacy and education programs ensures that access to services is complemented by informed decision-making. Empowering communities with financial knowledge foster a culture of saving and responsible financial behaviour”.

Opuni emphasized the importance of tailoring products for diverse segments, simplifying account opening processes, and leveraging agency banking networks to expand reach, particularly in rural areas.

Concluding on an optimistic note, Opuni expressed confidence in Ghana's financial future, envisioning a collaborative ecosystem where stakeholders work together to offer diverse products and services to previously excluded segments. With the Ghana Card catalysing innovation and inclusion, Opuni foresees a more secure and equitable financial landscape, poised to drive sustainable economic growth and prosperity.

source: Theannouncergh.com