Dr Henry Kofi Wampah

Information reaching CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE indicates that preparations are far advanced by NDK Financial Services to roll out universal banking services under the brand name Royal Bank.

The financial services provider was said to have been granted licence to operate even though the Bank of Ghana (BoG) indicated some time ago that it was not going to offer licence to any applicant for universal banking services.

Attempts by this paper to contact the Head of Banking Supervision at the Bank of Ghana to react to the issue proved futile.

The decision not to accept applications for universal banking licences was initiated by Dr Paul Acquah, a former Governor of BoG. This was also endorsed by the immediate-past Governor Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

At a point, the Central Bank was even thinking of consolidating banks that were unable to meet the GH?60 million capital adequacy ratio.

CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE?s sources also revealed that BoG had granted licence to some financial industry players such as First National Bank, 1st Capital Plus, which is said to have shares in TV3 and also has links with the ruling government, to offer universal banking services.

Two foreign entities ? Energy Bank, which has presence in Ghana and the Seychelles Islands and Citibank, are said to also have received licences to begin operations.

Speculations are rife that the Central Bank decided to give the licence to Royal Bank because its founder, Okoe Niikwei Dzanie, who is also board chairman of NDK Financial Services is a member of the ruling party. Mr Dzanie is also the Greater Accra Lands Commission board chairman.

NDK?s former building, which is opposite the Accra Sports Stadium, has now been taken over by Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), which has vacated its premises at Osu, Accra.

By Samuel Boadi

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