Vice President of the Republic Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is optimistic that government’s determination to make Ghana the centre for financial services in West Africa will take off in 2018. Dr. Bawumia noted Ghana is in pole position to attract the major financial corporations to set up here because of its democratic credentials as a stable and peaceful country. “People are comfortable with Ghana and we should leverage that and the professionalism of our bankers to become the financial services hub of the sub-region,” the Vice President stated at the 21st National Banking Conference, organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers, in Accra on Tuesday November 28, 2017. The dream to make the country a regional hub for financial services was highlighted in the 2018 Budget Statement, according to Dr. Bawumia, adding it will be given serious attention since it will lead to job creation and a sound economy. Only one bank, Barclays Bank Ghana, began Offshore Banking services in September 2007, following an amendment to the Banking Act that year. However, the bank’s offshore licence was withdrawn in 2011. To date, no other bank offers offshore banking services. “We have stated in 2018 we are reviving it and the law is still there. We’ll revive and implement that policy framework. It’s just about implementation to make Ghana an international financial services centre just as we have in Mauritius. We have key advantages in the sub-region to be the financial services hub,” the former deputy Governor of the Central Bank observed. He stated that already the 11-month-old government of President Akufo-Addo has begun rolling out programmes such as digitising key aspects of the economy to ensure effective and smooth implementation. “I think we were on course to do it but it will start again and next year we are moving to implement it. The whole process of digitisation is all part of the reforms that we are seeing – digital driver’s license, vehicle registration and all will help the banking industry. If you are going to take security on a vehicle it is digitised. The paperless port clearance system helps all of us,” Dr. Bawumia said. The 21st National Banking Conference is under the theme “Building a Robust and Sustainable Banking System in Ghana”. It is being attended by heads of banking institutions in Ghana, as well as current and former Governors of the Bank of Ghana.