Banks must innovate to survive COVID-19

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Country Managing Partner for Deloitte Ghana, Daniel Kwadwo Owusu, has said that with the end of COVID-19 still unknown, banks need to capitalise on new opportunities and innovations to take decisions which guarantee their survival amid and beyond the pandemic.

Speaking in a live conversation on the Ghana’s Most Respected CEO’s Breakfast Series organised by the B&FT and held in Accra, Mr. Owusu said they will have to consider liquidity management, risk management, and profitability strategies to survive the storm.

“We are still not yet aware of how the whole impact is going to be, so we need to look at it in terms of how we prepare our banks to survive. How do we look at our operations to ensure that we are streamlining them to ensure we survive?

“Assurance comes with controls, risks and operational efficiencies. Now, we need to ensure we are looking at each of these aspects of our business, and that we are ensuring whichever decisions we take our banks and financial institutions will be able to survive this pandemic, and then deal with what is even ahead of us,” he said, commenting on the theme ‘Bringing the Economy Back to Life: The Role of Banking and Finance’.

He added that banks should take advantage of opportunities stemming from the surge in use of online platforms. “There are enormous opportunities that are also being created. Now, you will see that there is increased use of technology in the banking space. People are doing a lot more transactions via the Internet, and so banks need to be a lot more innovative to see if this is the direction that we are going. And I can tell you that we are going to be at this point maybe for now and into the future.

“For example, we need to begin looking at whether in terms of the space we occupy as a bank we need more, or can we improve that with technology by deploying our people to do things differently?” he said – stressing the need for these institutions to be innovative in order to increase revenue as incomes drop.

In trying to survive during this global pandemic, however, banks – Mr. Owusu noted, must be aware of risks involved in the business and find ways of mitigating them. One of the risks, he stated, is the risk relating to credit.

He indicated that even though banks are not looking to stop giving out credit, they should consider what areas to specialise in credit administration.

Another risk he mentioned is liquidity, urging banks to ensure they always have enough liquidity to be able to operate, while ensuring also that they manage their operational risk by, for example, beefing-up security to curb cybercrime and fraud in the banking system.

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