The Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Ernest Addison has revealed many banks in the country are close to meeting the new minimum capital requirement for banks while others are discussing mergers as the December deadline approaches.
He says the Central bank is playing the necessary role to ensure that the financial institutions are able to go through the exercise smoothly.
“We are happy to note that many banks are close to meeting the new Minimum Capital Requirement and a few are concluding discussions on merger,” Dr. Addison said at a media briefing in Accra.
The Central Bank increased the minimum capital requirement for banks from GH¢120 to GH¢400 million to improve stability in the banking industry whilst growing the industry.
Analysts and market watchers believe few but larger banks will help accelerate the country’s economic growth quickly since they can underwrite big ticket transactions as well as remain liquid and stronger. The few but stronger banks they believe will also help to reduce cost of credit, access to credit, non-performing loans, amongst others.
There are about 24 and 19 universal banks in Nigeria and South Africa, compare to the 34 banks in Ghana though South Africa and Nigerian economies are far bigger than Ghana. However, there are foreign banks with representative offices in these two and populous countries.