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Poor management of banks reason for high interest rates — Oteng-Gyasi

Renowned industrialist and former President of the Association Ghana Industries, Tony Oteng-Gyasi says there is no doubt the prevailing high-interest rates in the country could be traced to the poor management of financial institutions.

Speaking at the Citi TV/FM Ghana Rising Conference on Thursday, Mr. Oteng-Gyasi stated that banks were passing on their inefficiencies to consumers by way of the high cost of borrowing; adding that a robust sector is ideal to bring down cost of lending.

He made these remarks as he delivered the keynote address at the Ghana Rising Conference on the theme: ‘Taking the Commanding Heights of the Ghanaian Economy; opportunities for indigenous businesses’.

According to him, the country faces a high-interest rate on banking transactions because of the unprofessional activities going on in banks.

Mr Oteng-Gyasi said, “I say this on behalf of all the other entrepreneurs and businesses in the country who have suffered the pain of high interest rates due to the poor governance of these banks. Those in the finance sector will recognize that the cost of our high-interest rates must have been also due to the poor performance of these banks. It translates definitely into high-interest rates. If we want 7%, we need properly governed banks in order to arrive at that kind of interest rates.”

He also described the crisis leading to the collapse of some banks as unfortunate.

“I have followed keenly the development in our banking in relation to our Ghanaian owned banks which have failed or gone bad. It is almost unfortunate and regrettable state of affairs that such a unique opportunity was given to some of our countrymen in the form of banking licenses and they seem to have messed it up rather badly,” he said.

Tony Oteng-Gyasi is also the Founder of Tropical Cable & Conductor Ltd, a wholly Ghanaian owned cable manufacturing company.

Prior to founding this company, he worked with British Petroleum for a period of nine years.

He currently serves on the Board of the African Centre for Economic Transformation and is an Honorary Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Engineers.

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