8.6.09

Opening A Bank Account 101

It is absolutely important that you have a bank account of some kind. This helps immensely in building your credit rating and overall management of your money. It also prevents you from having physical cash-on-hand that exposes you to thieves. It makes direct deposit possible from your employer and helps you get a cheque book with your name on it!
How do I know the right one for me

There are many banks and there are even many more account types. Branch Tellers/Sales persons will try to “download on you” their sales pitches when you visit. This will certainly get you confused the more. Remember the bank is in Business to make money! And the salesman/woman wants to maximize their sales commissions at the end of the month, so they will sometimes “sell” the account that you really do not need. Sometimes, they also say nothing at all about the account they are signing you on, but simply give you a heavy load of document (Disclosures) to read. Well, they know you will not read, so they will get away with it.

The first thing to do is your homework. Go to the website of the bank you like. All banks are different (in terms of size, customer service, location, ATM access, service charges etc) so take your time and search the few in your locality.

Select account type that meets your needs.
Calculate about how much cash you need in a month.
Figure out how many times you may want to use the ATM.
Also how many bills you will be paying in a month from your account.

The bank calculates all DEBIT TRANSACTION and charges you for all overages on the allowable debits for your account type. Some could be as high as $2 per transaction. If you do few debit transactions, i.e 15 or less, you probably do not l need to pay more than $9 monthly for your account. Your local banks may have varying amounts so do your search well.

Also do not ask for a savings account if you plan using the account for your everyday banking needs. Savings accounts are for SAVING money. They therefore have a very low limit of debit transactions. The highest I have seen is 3. Any transaction over the limit could be very costly. I recommend a current/checqueng account if its your everyday account.

If you know of a corporate plan or employee discounts with the bank, definitely go for it. It saves you a lot of money. Some discounts could give you free cheques, unlimited transaction, interests and lots more.

There is no point spreading your money with many financial institutions. My maximum will be two. The first one for my regular banking needs and the next for my investments (details will be in subsequent publications). Do not misunderstand this to mean that if you are getting poor service from one institution or the other, you should stay with them. I demand good service from all service providers. You are the customer and you do have a choice. Switch if you have to.

Whats neede for An accout to be Opened

1 Two pieces of Identification with at least one with a photograph
2 Your physical presence in the bank or branch
3 A co-signer if the account is joint or you are under the age on majority in your province or state.

Remember the bank can always refuse to open an account for you based on sevaral factors that will be talked about in detail in other posts.

Good Luck, and stay out out of trouble!


Source: Isaac TETTEH

3.6.09

Ghanaians loose confidence in government's ability to fight corruption

A survey conducted by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), a civil society organisation fighting corruption, indicates that the trust Ghanaians have in the government ability to fight corruption had dropped from 67 per cent in 2007 to 58 per cent in 2009.
The survey which saw a total number of 1,190 respondents randomly selected from all the 10 regions was aimed at covering all categories of the society.The survey also portrayed public officials or the civil service to be the most corrupt institution in the country, with a score of 4.2 followed by the Judiciary with a score of 4.1 then political parties with a score of 3.6.The rest are the business and private sector with a score of 3.3, Parliament with a score of 3.1 and then the media with a score of 3.0.
Addressing the media on the survey on Wednesday, Mr Vitus Azeem, Executive Secretary of the GII, called for a very strong Code of Conduct and its enforcement for civil and public servants as well as political appointees."Furthermore GII calls for more civil education to sensitize Ghanaians on the deleterious effects of corruption. Ghanaians must learn to be loyal to the state rather than to friends, relatives and members of their ethnic groups," he added.
Mr Azeem said shoddy works on the roads, lack of potable water, education and health care, were the by-products of kickbacks and bribery.He appealed to those in the private sector to sign onto the Ghana Business Code, where companies are furnished with detailed policies with regard to bribery-related issues.Mr Azeem urged the government to impose penalties such as blacklisting, fines and contract cancellation on firms whose employees engage in acts of corruption.The Executive Secretary called for the passage of the Right to Information legislation without further delay, as it would prove to be an effective anti-corruption tool.
He called for adequate resources for all accountability institutions to enable them to perform their duties effectively and also for a political leadership that has no "cobwebs in its cupboard", to lead the fight against corruption.On the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB), he noted that 68 per cent of the respondents perceived political parties to be the most corrupt institution in the country, followed closely by the civil service (public officials and civil servants) and parliament with percentages of 63 and 60 respectively.
He noted that the 2009 GCB which was carried out by Transparency International, the parent organisation of the GII, surveyed a total of 73,123 people in 69 countries and territories around the world including Ghana and nine other African countries. 03 June 09
Source:GNA

Scandal at Sports Ministry: Mills seeks answers

President Mills has instructed the Minister of Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, to present a detailed written response to an alleged gross financial malfeasance he has been involved in at his ministry.
In a report addressed to the President John Evans Atta Mills, a copy of which was intercepted by Asempa FM, the Principal Accountant at the Sport Ministry, chronicled a long list of transactions and requests made by the minister since assuming office three months ago.The minister is said to have demanded monies amounting to several thousands of Ghana cedis in lieu of expenses made on behalf of the Black Stars. He allegedly made requests for monies for unofficial expenses.
The minister is also said to have travelled with his girlfriend to the finals of the CHAN tournament played early February in Abidjan and charged the cost to his ministry, contrary to advice from his office.The document also mentions the minister as allegedly taking $2000 as imprest to cater for hotel bills and other expenses at the tournament but made the imprest holder of this Sports Ministry pay for the expenses.According to the document, while the minister claimed top guns of the NDC government had paid $10,000 as landing charges for the aircraft which conveyed the government officials to the CHAN, he turned round to demand a refund of the amount from the ministry.
“The accountant released the money ($10,000) to him through the Chief Director. The minister could not produce receipt to date,” the report claimed.It continued that the minister had taken per diem of GH¢2,000 for the Ghana-Benin match in Kumasi “though he was told that his maximum per diem entitlement was GH¢1,120.
In what appeared to be the biggest transaction entered on the instruction of the minister, the document said Mr Mubarak had signed a covering letter to the Ministry of Finance demanding the release of a whopping GH¢1,410,051.58 to the National Sports Council (NSC) when the Office of the Chief of Staff had not been consulted.
The report also mentioned the minister to have personally arranged accommodation and feeding expenses of the Black Stars players and officials in Kenya and Sudan in pre-match campings, without the involvement of any other official of the his ministry.The last charge in the six point report claimed the Hon Mubarak had requested a refund of GH¢674.02 as expenses for baby oil, baby food and other household items although he was advised against such requests.
The minister is said to have presented an oral response to the president Tuesday but was asked to return with a more detailed written response.The unfolding saga is reminiscent of the story of Mallam Issah who was jailed on charges of theft during the previous administration.