The recent reforms introduced in the banking industry are beginning to yield positive results, as the industry records positive growth in the first quarter of the year.
The industry recorded growth in terms of total assets, total deposits, and net loans and advances at the end of the first quarter of this year.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who announced this yesterday when he opened the new headquarters building of Cal Bank, said the reforms were necessary to save the industry from collapse.
According to him, the government’s reforms have saved the deposits of 1.5 million people and their businesses and minimised job losses in the banking sector.
“According to the March 2019 Banking Sector Report by the Bank of Ghana, an assessment of the banking sector’s performance during the first two months of the year, showed a well-capitalised profitable, liquid, and stable sector with strong prospects for increased financial intermediation,” he said.
The President defended the difficult decision taken by the government to reform the banking industry and indicated that it would safeguard the stability and prospects of the country’s economy.
“The measures we took saved the banking industry from very dire situation characterised by the existence of several weakly capitalised banks with balance sheets encumbered by a multitude of low performing loans, pursuing bad business models and poor governance practices and non-existent central bank regulations,” he said.
He said banks played critical role in the development of the country and advised players in the industry not to be mere profit making enterprises but see themselves as active partners in building a healthy, productive and robust economy.
President Akufo-Addo said the government would work with financial institutions and regulators to promote digital financing, mobile banking and mobile money usage to help formalise the Ghanaian economy.
Already, he said mobile money penetration in Ghana was the second highest in Africa and indicated that with the reforms to the country’s payment system, Ghana would build a strong competitive edge for financial innovation and access to credit.
He commended the management and staff of Cal Bank and added that the bank, over the last three decades, has become an integral part of the country’s economy.
President Akufo-Addo said the wholly owned Ghanaian bank had proven itself to be a solid bank and commended those who had contributed to the development of the bank.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, said the capital adequacy ratio of the banking industry which was collapsing had improved.
“The sector remains profitable with the first quarter of 2019 recording an after tax income of GH¢ 825 million, showing an annual growth of 37 per cent,” he said.
The BoG Governor said liquidity levels were among the highest over the last 12 years and attributed the growth to the increase in cash and cash balances in the sector.
BY YAW KYEI