Competition Commission and Consumer Rights Commission (GCCPC), organised a one
day validation workshop, at the Djembe Beach Resort on Wednesday.
The objective of the workshop was to validate a report and to agree on the best forward to ensure competition in the financial sector.
In line with their mandates, under section 15(1) of the completion Act 2017 and sector 16.1 (j) of the Consumer Protection Consumer Act 2014, the commission completed a study in the banking sector.
Speaking at the ceremony, Abdou Njie, vice chairperson and Commissioner for GCCPC, said the mandate of GCCPC is to protect and promote the institution in the market place for the benefit of all consumers and businesses.
Mr Njie noted that during the conduct of the study, officials of the commissions interviewed many stakeholders across all segments of the financial sector.
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Naffie Barry, said banking is hugely important to the functioning of the economy, by connecting borrowers and savers, managing financial risk and providing mechanisms for storing and transferring value.
Banks provide a key role in generating growth, she said, adding that banks provide the fundamental infrastructure for making transactions without which other markets simply could not work.
The market study was able to identify some of the weaknesses in the banking sector, she added.
She said that at the heart of the concerns about the banking sector is a perceived lack of ‘consumer focus’ on the part of providers.
“While there is stronger competition for certain type of consumer products across the market as a whole, there has been little incentive for innovation, efficiency or consumer focus,” she said.
“The ‘virtuous circle’ of well-informed consumers driving competitive businesses to deliver what consumers want simply isn’t working well enough and thus the need for the study,” she added.
On the issue of competition, she said, it is important that regulatory processes do not act as a barrier to entry.
The GCCPC and the CBG should work together to ensure that competition is not unduly constrained by taking the business model of incumbent and traditional banks as the starting point for the design of new rules.