Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) has launched a bespoke savings account for civil servants.
The product introduction is the first time that a Ghanaian bank has offered such offers through the industry leading TPRS system of Comptroller and General Accountant. This system has so far been used by Ghanaian banks to provide loans to government officials.
The UMB Savings Account, dubbed the “Controller Locksaver Account”, will allow officials to get a savings account that will allow them to save at their own pace and at their own value. The account boasts of a higher interest rate than the industry average and is touted as the key to enabling government employees to achieve a “save-to-invest” loop.
Speaking on the new initiative, UMB Managing Director Nana Dwemoh Benneh referred to a survey conducted by the bank’s research team, which indicated a great desire for savings products among Ghanaians.
“Overall, the Ghanaian worker understands the value of saving. The challenge has been to create a culture of savings that is consistent and intact over a period of time, to achieve a goal. This product allows officials to save money for this, using the same channel through which their loans and other credit facilities are managed.
He added: “UMB is proud to be the first bank in Ghana to offer workers the opportunity to save and access affordable loans, thereby adding value to financial well-being. This initiative is in line with our bank’s focus on supporting public sector projects, as a proud Ghanaian indigenous bank, ”he said.
In his remarks, Controller and General Accountant Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem said, “It is a matter of pride for us that this innovation has been achieved through our innovation within the department. The Third Party Referral System (TPRS) is a testament to the government’s digitization agenda and we are proud that a Ghanaian bank, UMB, has innovated with this platform to offer savings products. I foresee and hope that other banks and insurance companies will take inspiration from it and provide similar value to public servants.
Referring to the importance of savings, the Comptroller and Accountant General added that “savings are essential for the worker and the economy. This is why the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana have created a sanitized environment in the financial services ecosystem and with interest rates. I urge all Ghanaians, especially workers, to save a portion of their income each month, no matter how small, as this will increase and amortize over time the worker at critical times.
The event was attended by other senior executives from the Comptroller and Accountant General’s Department, clients of UMB and representatives of major labor unions.