A survey of bank charges by the Bank of Ghana for the first quarter 2021 has revealed that the individuals would need at least GHS10 and not more than GHS100 to open a current account with a bank in Ghana.
Analysis conducted by Citi Business News on banks’ charges for the second quarter of 2020, showed that banks demanded an average of GHS49 as the initial amount to be deposited when opening current accounts for individuals.
But the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Ghana’s latest survey of bank charges from 23 universal banks for the first quarter of 2021 showed that these institutions on average will now require GHS46 as an initial deposit for opening a current account for individuals.
The decrease in the average initial deposit required represents a minimal 6 percent drop over the period.
Per the Central Bank’s survey, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank and Agricultural Development Bank, require the highest amount of deposit, which is GHS100 to start a current account.
On the other hand, Ecobank and Calbank, require only GHS10 to open a current account; the lowest amount needed out of the 23 banks surveyed.
While the majority of banks kept their requirements unchanged, Ecobank and Zenith Bank slashed their requirements in an effort to mobilise more deposits.
Ecobank, which pegged GHS50 as its minimum requirement as of June 2020, currently requires as low as GHS10, while Zenith Bank slashed its requirement amount by 50 percent, pegging it at GHS50 now.
However, National Investment Bank has increased its initial deposit required for a current account since the 2020 survey.
Currently, customers need GHS20 in addition to the previous GHS30 to make GHS50 in order to start a current account.
According to the survey, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank and Société Générale, require the highest amount of deposit, which is GHS100 to start a savings account, while Access Bank and Calbank, require only GHS10 to open a savings account.
Guaranty Trust Bank is the only bank out of the 23 banks that can start a savings account for an individual with no initial deposit required.
Zenith Bank has decreased its requirements by 50 percent, pegging it at GHS50 now.
National Investment Bank, however, has increased its initial deposit required for a savings account. Customers now need GHS30 in addition to the previous GH230 to make GHS50 initial deposit.
From the same Bank of Ghana report, it was revealed that majority of the 23 universal banks operating in the country do not charge customers for withdrawing cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATM) but rather demand fees for issuance and maintenance of the ATM cards.
For amounts paid for issuance of ATM cards, United Bank for Africa (UBA) charges the highest fee of GHS30, whilst Bank of Africa, First National Bank, Republic Bank and Stanbic Bank do not charge any fees.
With regard to maintenance of the card, Standard Chartered Bank charges the highest fee of GHS15 per month, whilst First National Bank, National Investment Bank and Universal Merchant Bank do not charge any fees.
First National Bank is the only bank out of the 23 banks that does not charge any fees for the issuance and maintenance of ATM cards, as well as withdrawal of cash with the card.
As of December 2020, 18 out of the 23 banks in Ghana were not charging any fee for withdrawing money from the banks’ ATMs.
According to the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Ghana’s latest survey of bank charges from the same banks for the first quarter of 2021, this situation remains unchanged.
The five banks which charge fees for ATM cash withdrawals take between 0.5pesewas and GHS1. They are Bank of Africa, National Investment Bank, Prudential Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank.