Meeting BoG’s minimum capital requirement …fates of 3 local banks yet to be decided

The fates of three local banks are unknown as the Bank of Ghana’s (BOG) deadline for recapitalisation elapsed three days ago.

The three local banks according a source were unable to meet the GhȻ400 million threshold at the close of business day, December 31, 2018.

Uncertain fate

It is uncertain if the central bank would liquidate them or intervene as has been done for some seven local banks that could not raise the amount.

However, according to Ghanaian Times sources, one of the three banks could be relegated to a savings and loans company.

Seven banks to receive support

The source said that the seven banks that would receive support are ADB, Heritage, Prudential, Premium, National Investment Bank, Universal Merchant Bank and the Omni Banks.

The government, with support from some investors, would raise about GhȻ2 billion for the banks through the issuance of bonds as they were well-governed although insolvent.

As barter for their investment, parts of the beneficiary banks likely would be possessed by the investors through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), according to the sources.

Takeovers

The local branch of Indian Bank, Bank of Boroda, due to its inability to meet the GhȻ400million threshold last Monday voluntarily folded up. Its customers of the bank are to be ‘taken over’ by Stanbic Bank of Ghana.

The bank which was primarily serving Indian customers started operations in the country 10 years ago and is the first bank to willingly liquidate in the country.

GHL Bank, a mortgage provider, formerly known as Ghana Home Loans is to be taken over by the First National Bank; the two are at the early stages negotiations.

Mergers

Four banks have decided to pair up to avoid the wrath of the Central Bank. Energy Commercial Bank Ghana is expected to merge with First Atlantic Bank Limited while Omni Bank and Sahel Bank are teaming up.

16 banks sail through

Meanwhile 16 banks met the deadline. They include GCB Bank Limited, Access Bank Ghana Limited, Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, Cal Bank Limited, Consolidated Bank, Ecobank Ghana Limited, Standard Chartered Bank Limited, Stanbic Bank Limited and United Bank of Africa

Others are FBN Bank Ghana Limited, Fidelity Bank Limited, First National Bank Ghana Limited, Republic Bank Ghana Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank Ghana Limited (GT Bank), Societe Generale Ghana Limited and Zenith Bank Ghana limited.

BoG to speak

The central bank is expected to officially speak this week on developments in the banking sector after the deadline for recapitalisation elapsed.

Background

The BoG last year announced an increase in the minimum capital requirement for commercial banks in the country from ¢120 million to ¢400 million in a move to sanitise the banking sector.

It has not an easy task for many banks as the collapse and takeover of some banks and other scandals in the financial sector had eroded public confidence in the sector.

By Jonathan Donkor 

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