Business News of Thursday, 22 March 2018
The Bank of Ghana says it does not expect any more banks to become so distressed to require its intervention for the remaining part of the year.
Second Deputy Governor, Elsie Awadzi in an interview on Joy Fm’s Super Morning Show said as far as the regulator is concerned, all banks are in a good standing and should remain so.
“As far as our information goes, all the banks that are open for business are fine. The outlook is fine and we expect that these banks will continue to run and will continue to be strong and be viable,” she said.
The BoG’s announcement of the takeover of local bank, uniBank on Tuesday has not only created some panic amongst customers of the bank, but also a general sense of uncertainty around the country’s financial institutions.
At a press conference, the Governor of the BoG, Ernest Addison said the decision to take over management of the bank was born by an urgent need to save the bank from collapse.
The BoG said uniBank persistently maintained a capital adequacy ratio below zero, making it technically insolvent.
uniBank, according to the Central Bank, also failed to comply with a directive prohibiting it from granting new loans and incurring new capital expenditures,breaching section 105 of Act 930.
The bank also conducted its credit administration in a manner that has jeopardized the interests of depositors and that of the financial sector as a whole, the BoG said.
This is not the first time a local bank is being forcibly taken over; last year, the GCB Bank took over UT Bank and Capital bank. The takeovers are fueling speculations that many more banks will suffer a similar fate.
But Mrs Awadzi said the Central Bank is putting measures in place to ensure that such incidences do not occur in the future and certainly not this year.
She assured that “We are monitoring every bank everyday…these [remaining] banks are strong. We do not foresee any problems.”
The BoG, she indicated is continuously engaging with stakeholders of the banking sector towards strengthening it.
She said the recent increase in the minimum capital requirement of 400 million cedis for banks, effective December 2018, requires banks to inject new capital thereby strengthening their operations.
The BoG, Mrs Awadzi disclosed, is expecting banks “who want to merge to merge, we are expecting acquisitions, we are expecting interesting developments in the banking sector all towards creating stronger and more robust banks.”
The Central bank is also strengthening its internal controls to allow it better play its supervisory role and regulate the sector even better.
“The idea is that we want to support these banks to do good business and to stay strong and viable,” she added.