government’s commitment to developing a robust financial services sector needed for economic growth.
“It is the hope of government that Direct Savings and Loans will contribute towards the economic and development programs of Ghana.
“The government will continue to give the necessary support to the private sector to enable them to realise good returns on their investment and for them to in turn assist the economy in its socio-economic development,” the Vice President said.
Formerly Express Capital Microfinance Ltd, the indigenous second tier banking institution -- which was incorporated in 2012 -- officially rebranded as Direct Savings and Loans Ltd at a plush ceremony at the Movenpick Hotel.
Its main business will be to provide banking services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), traders and market women, salaried workers and the self-employed.
Dr. Bawumia also noted that savings and loans companies account for 45% of total credit of 397 billion [Ghana cedis] of the non-bank financial institutions, acknowledging that the sector "undoubtedly contributes to the transformation of the huge portion of the informal sector towards Ghana's ultimate output."
Chief Executive of the Direct Savings and Loans, Ben Adu-Owusu, said the firm recognises the role that private sector investment and innovation play in Ghana’s economic development and assured it will remain steadfast in its commitment to contribute to the national interest: access to credit, employment, and harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of citizens.
“As we launch Direct, we are reminded of the turbulence that recently rocked our industry. An unfortunate event which spurred us to define our journey of resilience in our migration from microfinance to a savings and loans.
“However, as the dust settles, we are confident that all partners, customers and our regulator will observe that an institution such as ours, which has been built on a solid, tried and tested foundation will continue to remain a relevant financial services partner for micro, small and medium enterprises in Ghana,” said Mr Adu-Owusu.
Also present at the launch was Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Millison Narh, who urged the institution to be innovation-oriented.
“We indeed commend you for working tirelessly to fulfill all the licensing requirements of the Bank of Ghana under the Banks and Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act 2016 (Act 930) and obtain a license to operate as a Savings and Loans Company,” he said.
He urged the new entrant to leverage on the experience gained in the microfinance sector and introduce tailor-made products and services to meet the needs of customers and build customer loyalty.