In assessing the problem of poor service delivery among banks in Ghana, one thing becomes clear; some of our banks seem to be over-patronized! They are overwhelmed by the number of customers as compared to the facilities available! ?If not, customers then need to be proven wrong!

I believe that a lot of our banks are working beyond their actual capacity or capability and hence, not managing our finances as they should! It is therefore not surprising that some of them are failing us! The question is: Do banks, if any, have a limit? Are there rules governing the operations of our banks in terms of setting themselves a maximum operating limit or number? Are our banks allowed to take in the huge numbers as long as people continue walking in to create new accounts? What should be the limit of a bank, and what are the indicators? Is there a system that puts our banks in check? Are there any measures that should be taken in correcting these problems? ?What does our central bank have to say? Customers need to know!

Like our mobile communication companies which pride themselves in their huge clientele, and yet are unable to provide the best services, this same problem can be identified with our banks. It is a normal occurrence to experience a network jam on our mobile communication lines. This same trend occurs in our banks, where customers experience difficulties in accessing one form of service or the other, due to the huge numbers in banking halls. The Bank of Ghana should take a critical look into this issue. If some banks are operating above their capacities, there should then be a means of putting them in check by perhaps putting an embargo on further creation of new accounts as was done to some of our mobile communication companies by the National Communication Authority some time ago. It is either they improve their services, or put a stop to taking on new clients! If such a law exists, the Bank of Ghana ought to start enforcing it! If not, they should contemplate on a possibility.

This is a question I have been asking myself repeatedly anytime I encounter bottlenecks in our banking halls. It is a normal occurrence to sight banks which seem to be filled to capacity to the extent that people have to queue outside. The obvious remedy could be to open several local branches but are our banks seem unprepared. Most of our banks are not serving their customers as they should, and so, ought to be sanctioned by our central bank.

Another area that ought to be critically examined is the issue of monitoring. Our various banks come with various protocols, all lined up to serve the needs of customers. Banks come with general managers, and other sub-managers whose duties are to ensure that customers are served. In truth, I have on a couple of occasions walked into one or two banks to actually meet a manager walking around the banking hall. This manager was interacting with a few customers of which I personally thought was a good opportunity to monitor his workers. That is a challenge to other banks. Managers in our banks should not only be interested in solving problems that come through their immediate doorways, but should also aim at ensuring that other problems outside their doorways are attended to as a matter of urgency. A lot of workers in our banks usually operate in a way that questions the competencies of their managers, and their specific aims and objectives.

These are key areas that need to be addressed. Ghana is fast growing, and fast changing. Several cooperate entities are coming into our country each day. For most of us, the most practical form of our security lies in our banks! Money! In trying to safeguard our money, we need an easily accessible bank; one that would allow for easy storage and retrieval of money. None is interested in spending a whole day in finding a solution to any monetary issue. It is a matter of life and death!

Anna Esi Hanson ([email protected]), Takoradi.

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