Not too long ago, Ghana Commercial Bank used to be the preferred bank for most people, especially the lower class and the middle class in the country. It was home to students, petty traders, government workers, who were paid pittance, until the Single Spine Pay Policy was introduced, pensioners etc.
The reason was simple, it was because the Minimum Balance, required to operate an account with Barclays Bank and the Standard Chartered Bank, was way above the reach of the aforementioned, at that time the Minimum Balance needed for a Savings Account at the GCB, was GH¢5.
Things changed, when the Nigerian Banks entered into the country and introduced the Zero balance Account. Banking became more excited, because competition ensured efficiency and good customer service. While, all these were going on, GCB still remained the Bank for the people, until now.
A lot of changes had gone on in the bank, albeit negative. It is ironic that whiles other banks are chasing after customers and making them juicy offers, such as Zero Balance, no COT charges etc, the cost of keeping an account at GCB is rather going up.
A minimal balance of GH¢5, that was required to keep a Savings Account, has now been increased to GH¢50.
Secondly, with the benefit of technology, banking has being made convenient and other banks are using it for the benefit of their customers except GCB, who hitherto rather introduced online charges, where one is charged for saving or withdrawing money, we understand this has ceased to exist, but the question is, what was the rationale for its introduction in the first place?
Another disturbing trend in the bank is the Saving Withdrawal Booklet that was given to customers with Savings Account. If a customer is
withdrawing from a branch that is not his mother branch, without his Savings Withdrawal Booklet and must buy one, he is charged GH¢5 for a leaf, when the whole book is about GH¢9 or so.
GCB is the people’s bank and something must be done to safeguard the viability of the bank, some of these charges only assist the bank to post artificial profit, which in the long run is not sustainable. The books of the bank looks good, but in reality the bank is not performing as it should.