Mobilizing deposits; the role of Commercial Banks in Ghana

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Authors : Bright Adu Gyamfi Antwi


Commercial banks are the main controller of the financial system in Ghana performing financial intermediation. They control greater portion of the investment funds from domestic deposits and are the main creditors of the corporate bodies, SMEs and individual investors. However, the amount of domestic funds that commercial banks receive is far below the level sustainable for self-sufficiency. Huge volumes of loanable funds are left out of the banking system and it needs the efforts of the commercial banks to tap them into productive uses. The purpose of this study therefore is to identify the most effective and efficient ways commercial banks in Ghana should employ to maximize the volume of domestic deposits in the environment of high rural population, dominant informal sector employment and macroeconomic instability. Thus, the study aims to evaluate the design of bank products and services, assess their effectiveness of harnessing domestic deposits and challenges they face in mobilizing deposits. This research is based on relevant books, journals, articles and other publications. In addition, data from commercial banks in Ghana on deposits they received from 2000 to 2004 were studied to make recommendations. Results from the analysis indicated that deposits mobilization of Commercial Banks in Ghana though, has an upward trend, it increases at a decreasing rate hence, the present level of deposits as a ratio of the total amount of money in circulation is woefully inadequate. The study also reveals certain basic facts about commercial banks in Ghana. Their concentration in the cities and a few urban areas as well as their product design and services are targeted to the literate formal sector employees. In addition, unfavourable macroeconomic conditions have resulted in negative real interest rate on deposits while unnecessary government intervention has reduced the confidence in the banking sector. The effects of these factors are the low deposits that commercial banks receive. The study concluded with recommendations for commercial banks such as; the need to redefine their product target, increase their scope to include the large majority etc. in order to ensure improvements in their operations.

Keywords: Commercial banks, mobilization of deposits, products and services, macroeconomic conditions, capital growth and investment, and interest rate.


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