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General News
Government lauds Barclays leasing initiative 3/16/2007
Accra, March 15, GNA - Government on Thursday lauded Barclays Bank''s initiative for being responsive to the needs of corporate bodies by taking the lead in the industry to finance leasing in the country. Nana Juaben-Boateng Siriboe, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said the introduction of such facility by a bank meant that businesses in the country now have opportunity to renew their assets pool which would enable them to improve upon their products and services.

He made this remark when he launched three distinctive leasing products of Barclays to fill the demand that companies already in the sector are currently unable to meet.

The products, dubbed: Vehicle and Asset Finance come with names "FlexiRent", "FlexiLease" and "FlexiLoan" were aimed at providing alternative means of funding the acquisition of assets instead of reliance on loans by customers.

Nana Siriboe also challenged the bank to consider designing a similar instrument for micro businesses such as Small and Medium Scale (SMEs) to enable them to expand, grow and add value to their products and services.

"There are a number of these micro scale businesses (that) need to retool their technologies and equipment to enable them grow," he said. Nana Siriboe told the bank to track how these new products would cause business to grow and generate employment in the system as well as how they could impact on government revenue. He urged players in the financial sector to be sensitive and take advantage of the many good policies that government has and continue to introduce for businesses to thrive.

Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe, Managing Director of Barclays Ghana said the product would not only succeed in providing financing solutions to the private sector but also inject dynamism into the Ghanaian leasing industry and deliver unconstraint answer to the assets finance needs of corporate clients. According to her, survey by the international Finance Corporation last year indicated the volume of equipment financed through leasing in Ghana was below 1.5 percent.

She praised the Government and the Bank of Ghana for the new Banking Act, which had set the pace for Ghanaian banks to conduct leasing as normal banking business.

"This progressive regulatory development paved the way for Barclays to boldly enter the local leasing market to help address the capacity constraint..." she said.

Mr Greg Barclay, Head of Africa and Indian Ocean of Vehicle and Assets Finance of the bank said Barclays would liaise with the Ghana Leasing Association in collaboration with the IFC Leasing Project to develop the leasing industry.

He said the vision of the bank was to have a regionally integrated proposition, which is tailored to country specific requirements. The bank at the launch honoured the first three customers, Goil Ghana Limited, Multimedia Broadcasting and Agapet Company Limited, an advertising firm that had patronised the new product.Source:
GNA

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