It is a challenging time for the banking and financial industry in view of rising inflation and interest rates, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of FBNBank, Victor Yaw Asante, has said.
“Banks are worried interest rates are going up, inflation is 33.9 per cent now, the Ghana reference rate at the moment is around 26 per cent,” he said in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, after a health walk organised by the FBNBank in East Legon at the weekend to create awareness of the bank’s new branch recently established there.
Responding to the question on how the banking industry was faring in view of the difficult economic situation, Mr Asante said “It is worrying.”
The government is currently pursuing an International Monetary Fund programme for an amount of $3 billion, to among others, shore up its revenue and meet its balance of payment obligations.
Mr Asante indicated that banks were going through tough times, indicating that in view of the difficult economic conditions, people did all manner of things in cyberspace in a bid to break into the systems of banks.
“This means that you must spend a lot of money, do a lot of diligence, and make sure all your systems are at the top level,” Mr Asante, said.
The CEO of FBNBank also averred that the rising interest rates and inflation were ordered to financial institutions, stressing “You can’t pass all your interest cost to clients, because if you are not careful, you will lose out.”
He said banks were seeing signs of a bit of struggle in some of the corporates “Who are asking all manner of things.”
“We are working with our clients who need a little bit of restructuring to help cushion them in meeting their loans obligations,” Mr Asante, said.
Mr Asante was of the hope that the government would overcome the challenges the economy was going through.
“We are all in trouble, but I pray, sooner than later, all the factors that are going in the wrong direction will change into the right direction,” he said.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE