The streets of Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and many of the major cities in Ghana are flooded with banks—but their presence does not in any way foster perfect competition or provide reasonable alternatives.
The banks in Ghana can best be described as a corporate cult, a collection of “mafia entities” which squeezes the hell out of customers with their unending and mostly unjustifiable charges.
The ordinary Ghanaian has basic banking needs: withdrawals and deposits—and yet these uncomplicated banking services attract ridiculous charges from almost all the banks.
From ADB to Zenith Bank, customers are charged whenever they use their ATM cards to make withdrawals when the withdrawals are made from machines not belonging to their own banks. So to avoid withdrawal charges, Ghanaians have to stick to using ATM machines of just their banks—and this means, many Ghanaians have to travel several miles to make simple withdrawals when the need arises.
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And even that, most of the banks comes with a fixed monthly withdrawal charge or fees which you cannot escape.
A few days ago, a friend who wanted to open a new bank account at UBA in Accra was told she would have to pay for internet banking—a complete turn off which pushed her to walk away. Why must anyone be charged in this day and age for having internet banking access?
It’s not just internet banking access that some of these banks in Ghana charge customers for: they also charge for Cheque Books, ATM Cards, Account Maintenance, Account Service, SMS and E-mail alerts.
Some of these charges are paid on the back of poor customer service which make the deductions extremely roguish. A friend stated on Facebook that, sometimes the SMS or E-mail alerts are 3 days late, and yet you are charged for their irrelevance.
Most Ghanaians are tired of the many bank charges, applicable to even savings accounts. But without a viable alternative and proper statutory regulations, they are literally stuck—as nowhere is cool.
If you think Barclays Bank is bad, speak to the customers of Ecobank–and if you think Ecobank is worse, speak to the customers of Cal Bank. The value is the same at every corner. Your best bet is to find the bank that exploits its customers less–that’s even if one exists in Ghana.
Check below for the shocking experiences of some Ghanaians with the various banks in Ghana.
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