Capital requirement: Gov’t considering financial support for local banks
In the wake of the consolidation of five local banks into the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, the government is considering providing financial support to indigenous banks to help them meet the minimum capital requirement by the December 31 deadline.
This support will be contingent on the banks exhibiting good financial health and best practices.
To further strengthen the indigenous Ghanaian banking sub-sector, the Government is considering various structures through which it can provide financial support to help other indigenous banks meet the new minimum capital requirement of GH¢ 400 million by 31st December 2018.”
“This support will be limited to indigenous banks that are solvent, well governed and managed and in full compliance with the Bank of Ghana’s regulatory requirements,” a statement from the Minister of Finance said.
He assured that the “government is interested in ensuring that Ghana’s banking system is not only resilient but capable of driving the transformation agenda.”
The essential collapse of The Beige Bank, Construction Bank, The Royal Bank, uniBank and Sovereign Bank has called into question the strength of the local banking sector.
Three of these banks; Sovereign Bank, The Beige Bank, and Construction Bank were even found to have obtained their banking licenses by false pretenses.
This followed the collapses of UT Bank and Capital Bank.
The concerns notwithstanding, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the “Government will continue to explore policy interventions to transform the entire financial services sector into a more resilient and dynamic industry in order to promote and establish Ghana as a regional Financial Services Centre.”
GHc400 million capital requirement struggle
The Bank of Ghana gave the banks in Ghana until the end of 2018 to raise a GHc400 million new capital requirement or risk being shut down or becoming a microfinance or savings and loans institutions.
Whereas the foreign-owned banks are not complaining, the local ones had asked the Bank of Ghana to give them some time to recapitalize.
They also petitioned the Presidency to intervene on their behalf.
But the central bank among other things advised them to join forces and recapitalize or risk having their licenses revoked.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison about a week ago disclosed that some 15 banks are set to meet the new minimum requirement which meant that 19 others would have to resort to various options available to them in order not to miss the deadline.
Find below the full statement
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE, KEN OFORI-ATTA, IN RELATION TO GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR STRENGTHENING GHANA’S BANKING SECTOR.
- The Government has taken note of the measures announced by the Bank of Ghana on 1st August 2018, to consolidate five banks [Beige, Construction, Royal, Sovereign and Unibank] as part of efforts to restore confidence and trust in our banking system, and to protect depositors and jobs.
- Consistent with its commitment to upholding the operational autonomy of the Bank of Ghana, the Government supports these efforts to strengthen and clean up the banking sector.
- These measures, coupled with our commitment to fiscal consolidation and macroeconomic stability, should help improve the availability of credit to the private sector and reduce lending rates. Restoring trust and confidence in the banking sector by the Bank of Ghana is key to supporting Government’s efforts in transforming the economy.
- The Government is interested in ensuring that Ghana’s banking system is not only resilient and capable of driving the transformation agenda but also supports the promotion and participation of strong indigenous Ghanaian banks. To this end, the government has incorporated a new bank called Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited [herein referred to as Consolidated Bank] and capitalized it with GHS 450 million. Consolidated Bank will assume selected assets and liabilities of these five banks whose licenses have been revoked by the Bank of Ghana.
- The Government has also provided financial support through the issuance of a bond in the amount of [GH¢ 5.76 billion] towards the Purchase and Assumption Agreement under which the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited has acquired [all deposits and other specified liabilities, and good assets of the five banks]. This financial intervention will mitigate the impact of the consolidation of the five banks on the banking system and the wider economy and ensure that all customer deposits are protected. Moreover, the consolidation of the five banks achieves the twin objectives of promoting the safety, soundness, and stability of the financial system as well as strengthening Ghana’s indigenous banks.
- The new Consolidated Bank, which will initially be 100% government owned, will be a more robust and better-managed bank, which will ensure strong indigenous Ghanaian presence in the banking sector.
- To further strengthen the indigenous Ghanaian banking sub-sector, the Government is considering various structures through which it can provide financial support to help other indigenous banks meet the new minimum capital requirement of GH¢ 400 million by 31st December 2018. This support will be limited to indigenous banks that are solvent, well governed and managed and in full compliance with the Bank of Ghana’s regulatory requirements.
- Additionally, the Government will continue to explore policy interventions to transform the entire financial services sector into a more resilient and dynamic industry in order to promote and establish Ghana as a regional Financial Services Centre.
- The Government of Ghana’s primary goals are: to protect customer deposits; protect jobs as much as possible; protect strong Ghanaian indigenous representation; protect the integrity of the banking sector; ensure strict adherence to good corporate governance and to minimize systemic risk.
Source: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana