One of the leading indigenous banks, GN Bank Ghana Limited, has secured a $20-million funding from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to support its expansion drive.
The bank is expected to use the money to support its penetration into rural areas.
A statement issued by GN Corporate Affairs in Accra on Sunday said the bank’s expansion project, expected to cost $27 million, began three years ago with the aim of providing quality banking services for rural areas.
It said already the project had helped to address the challenges of access to safe banking and finance for poor and rural people through the provision of banking services in remote areas.
Designed to provide close-to-client, safe and convenient banking in all 10 regions of Ghana, the project, according to the bank, had led to the opening of full branches, money stores and small express banking services in virtually every district.
Additionally, it said, the initiative had contributed to bank-wide investments in technology and communications infrastructure to link those new branches together, the acquisition of vehicles for use at new branch locations and for mobile banking operations and the purchase of equipment needed to begin operations at each new branch.
The project, the statement said, supported the purchase of equipment to build an extensive bank branch network in Ghana.
“This has enabled new staff of the bank to increase deposit-taking capabilities, with a focus on the rural areas of the country where clients are often ‘unbanked’,” it stated.
In addition to providing financial services for rural Ghanaians, it said, the project was on course to create a number of job opportunities, largely for the youth who would be the bank’s mobile bankers in mostly the rural areas of the country.
According to World Bank estimates, only about half of Ghanaians have access to bank accounts, a situation which is pronounced in rural areas.
“GN Bank is living up to its ‘People’s Bank’ slogan with the retail banking approach which allows some bank accounts to be opened with as little as 50Gp.
“The bank has successfully encouraged a savings culture among several thousands of people who have taken advantage of its combination of free life insurance cover and the highest interest rate on ordinary savings accounts in Ghana,” the statement said.