Consumer trust is shaping up to be the ‘most valuable currency’ for financial institutions, particularly the deposit-taking ones, as economies continue the march toward recovery, Managing Director of FBN Bank, Victor Yaw Asante, has said.
According to him, despite the value of factors such as liquidity and technology, they will fail to register the expected impact if the consumers which they are targeting do not fully embrace them.
He therefore urged stakeholders to bolster efforts geared toward improving customer confidence in the sector that has had its fair share of bad press in the recent past, adding that a scandal involving a single player will have adverse ramifications for other firms.
“We must not fail again; we must not go into the area where a bank is in trouble. No matter how much goodwill we have, one bit of bad business from any of us will have a negative effect on others,” he said on the sidelines of the maiden edition of the Money Summit, organised by the B&FT.
Despite consumer trust in the sector appearing to be witnessing a resurgence, as evidenced by a growth in deposits for most banks, Mr. Asante warned that this should not lead to complacency.
Expressing confidence that the measures put in place by the apex bank will be effective enough to rein in excesses, he added: “There are many things the bank of Ghana is doing to ensure we do not see a repeat of recent ills – the minimum capital requirement, adequacy ratio, and all that. Once we do not play cowboys, and stick to proper corporate governance practices and curtail over-lending, we should be fine.”
As the primary financial intermediaries, he added, banks have been given a unique opportunity to step-up and lead the economic recovery process by encouraging financial well-being and using innovative methods to help businesses get back on track. “In doing so, we will not only be playing our parts in driving our economic recovery, but also restoring trust in the sector,” he added.
Mr. Asante was however quick to add that the relationship is not a one-way street, as customers will also have to play their part in gaining the trust of financial institutions if they are to expect the extension of credit facilities.