BOG reduces primary reserve requirement to boost support to economy

Accra The Bank of Ghana has announced a raft of measures aimed to contain the economic impact of the COVID-19 on the economy and to enhance access to credit.

Consequently, the Bank had reduced the Primary Reserve Requirement from 10 percent to eight percent to provide more liquidity to banks to support critical sectors of the economy.

“This effectively extends the previous targeted reserves for SMEs under the enterprise credit scheme to all critical sectors,” the Bank said in a statement after a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee.

The Bank also lowered the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) for banks of 3.0 percent to 1.5 percent to enable banks provide the needed financial support to the economy.

“This effectively reduces the Capital Adequacy Requirement from 13 percent to 11.5 percent,” it said.

The Bank said Provisioning for Loans in the “Other Loans Especially Mentioned” (OLEM) category is reduced from 10 percent to five percent for all banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) as a policy response to loans that may experience difficulty in repayments due to slowdown in economic activity.

Provisioning norms for loans in all other categories are maintained. This should provide capital relief to banks and SDIs in these uncertain times.

The Bank said loan repayments that were past and due for Microfinance Institutions for up to 30 days shall be considered as “Current” as in the case for all other SDIs.

The Bank said it had agreed with banks and mobile network operators on measures to facilitate more efficient payments and promote digital forms of payments for the next three months, subject to review, effective March 20, 2020.

These measures will allow all mobile money users to send up to GH¢100 for free (excluding cash out).

This also include sending to a recipient on the same network, or another network via the interoperability platform.

All mobile phone subscribers are now permitted to use their already existing mobile phone registration details to be on-boarded for Minimum KYC Account.

The daily transaction limits for mobile money have also been increased with the Daily Transaction Limits KYC Account Type from the Current Limit of GH¢300.00 to GH¢1,000.00.

The Medium KYC Account GH¢2,000.00 to GH¢5,000.00 and Enhanced KYC Account GH¢5,000.00 to GH¢10,000.00.

The mobile money wallet limits are also increased as follows with Maximum Account Balance Limits KYC Account Type from GH¢1,000.00 to GH¢2,000.00, Medium KYC Account from GH¢10,000.00 to GH¢15,000.00 while the Enhanced KYC Account from GH¢20,000.00 to GH¢30,000.00.

The Bank also revised the aggregate monthly transaction limits with Maximum Account Balance Limits from GH¢3,000.00 to GH¢6,000.00, Medium KYC Account from GH¢20,000.00 to No Limit and Enhanced KYC Account GH¢50,000.00 to No Limit.

“The Bank of Ghana is closely monitoring developments as regards the impact of COVID-19 on the domestic economy, and will not hesitate to convene an emergency meeting to deliberate on other measures, if required,” the Bank added.

Source: Ghana News Agency