Growing Customer Base with Inward Remittances: An analysis of UNIBANK (Ghana) Limited

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Over the past decade, remittances have had a significant impact on the economy of Ghana. According to the Bank of Ghana (BoG), remittances to Ghana have increased from about US$4.6 billion in 2005 to about US$12.5 billion in 2010 equating 11% of GDP. The BoG 2009 report also revealed that, US$ 9.1 billion or 19.2% of the total remittance went to individual Ghanaians who walked to various banks or non-bank financial institutions to access these funds. The World Bank (WB) has estimated that, global remittance flow to developing countries in 2009 alone ran into $ 338 billion with the potential to increase more than 10% per annum. The concept of remittances in Ghana is still a complex unexplored issue and its impact has not yet been fully captured or explained empirically. The lack of systematic means to record transactions, lack of details about the sender among others are some of the issues that lead to the complexity. Nevertheless, it also significant to understand different helps remittances offer to the families who receive them. This research sought to add to the body of knowledge of the remittances and how Banks can explore this system to grow customers’ base. A case study approach was used using unibank and data collection methods was semi-structured interviews, observations and documentation of important legal papers from the bank. The research revealed that, remittances form the total foreign exchange inflows into the country majority of the remittance is to individual families who are either using for upkeep, pay for education or to run business or projects that will in future prepare the sender for coming back to Ghana. The results of the research showed that, about 66% of recipient beneficiaries are just custodians of these monies and that the decision as to how these monies are used is the prerogative of the sender. The research recommends that for banks to grow their customer base, cross-selling of products to remittance customers will be key and more attention should be paid to migrants by developing more products that will be beneficial and attractive to them.
A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters in Business Administration.