Barclays has pledged its unflinching support to improving the quality of life of the poor through its programme of extending basic financial services to the vulnerable in society.
Mr Vinit Chandra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Barclays Africa, who is in the country on a day’s visit, stated after observing a meeting of Boi women’s group, a Village Savings and Loan Association at Abokobi in the Ga East Municipality.
The 27-member group, part of the Barclays Banking on Change
Initiative, pools the savings of members into funds from which they can borrow.
So far, the group has made a savings of GH¢1,109.00 and had also disbursed loans totalling GH¢819 to 12 members.
Barclays and International Development Organisations, Plan and CARE International, non-governmental organisations, in May this year launched ‘Banking on Change, a micro-finance initiative for about 63,000 people in Ghana.
The 10 million-pound programme to be run for the next three years is expected to cover about 500,000 disadvantaged people with financial services in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and South America.
The Boi women group would qualify for financial assistance from Barclays and its partners, Care and Plan, after a nine-month period of study and upon the recommendation of the credit officer currently working with the group on basic financial issues.
Mr Chandra said the bank would not relent in efforts to extend financial services tailored to meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable and would commit funds to ensure that the financial inclusion programme worked to the advantage of the marginalized in Africa.
In Ghana, the partnership would target poor people in six regions, especially women in the Upper West and East, Northern, Central, Greater Accra and Volta Regions.
During the three years, the project in Ghana will seek to create over 4,000 community savings and loans groups in the 10 districts to increase financial literacy, improve quality of life and enhance household income.
The GA East Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kwao Sackey, commended Barclays and partners for the initiative and expressed the hope that it would be extended to other parts of the municipality.
Mr Chandra, who is on a day’s working visit to the country, was accompanied by the Managing Director of Barclays in charge of East/West Africa, Adan Mohamed.
The Barclays executives will hold discussions with the Country Management Members of Barclays Ghana during the visit and pay a courtesy call on the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.