Government is committed to strengthen the financial system – Minister

Accra- The ongoing clean-up in the financial system is part of government’s commitment to strengthen the country’s financial sector, Mr Charles Adu Boahene, the Deputy Minister of Finance, has said.

Mr Adu Boahene said tidying up the financial sector which has resulted in the closing down of some banks and the consolidation of others, is a demonstration of government’s resolve to safeguard the funds of depositors.

He was speaking on Thursday at the JoyBusiness Financial Services Forum held in Accra under the theme: The Changing Tide of Ghana’s Financial Services Sector; The Cause, The Cost, the Clean-up.

The Sector Minister said the government’s dedication is shown in the Ministry’s constant communication with the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the regulator of the banking sector.

He said the government has taken into consideration, the importance of depositors’ funds and that is why the government took the decision to clean up the banking sector and also ensure job protection.

The clean-up of the sector, he said, is important because if we don’t clean up the financial sector, we can’t set the platform for the economic development we want.

On the capital requirement set by the BoG, Mr Adu Boahene said, banks that are not able to meet the requirement would have the option downgrade to the status of a Savings and Loans company.

Speaking at the forum, Mrs Elsie Awadzi, a Deputy Governor of the BoG, said the Bank remains resolute on delivering on its core mandate of strengthening the financial system of the country as it continues to explore avenues.

She said the recent happenings in the banking sector were steps being taken by the regulator to minimise the future chaotic situation which might occur to many depositors who had their funds with the closed and merged banks.

Mrs Awadzi said the Bank would ensure that, by September next year, all banks operating in the country would be safe and sound to do business with, maintaining that the banking industry as a whole had become much stronger than ever.

We cannot allow the banks that do not have minimum capital requirement to exist after January 1, she said, adding that, banking requires very serious money.

She said it is unfortunate that the bank has to undertake such a painful solution by closing down insolvent banks but yet we will have to take serious decisions on banks that don’t meet the capital requirement by January 2019.

Mr Alhassan Andani, the President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, commended the BoG for taking the pragmatic steps of rescuing depositors from losing their funds by consolidating the insolvent banks and also closing down some of them.

He affirmed that the banking sector was robust as 20 per cent of banks in Ghana control about 80 per cent of the loans, adding that those banks were nowhere near closing down.

He urged banking and other financial institutions to brace up as government has resolved to adopt rigorous measures to ensure a strengthened financial system.

Source: Ghana News Agency