Revocation of licences of 9 banks: Govt pays all depositors 95% depositors of collapsed micro finance companies also paid

Government has completed the process of paying all depositors of the nine banks whose licences were revoked in 2018.

Additionally, the government has paid 95 per cent of depositors of the collapsed savings and loans, and micro finance companies 

This came to light when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo visited the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in Accra yesterday.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Ernest Addison, told the President that his outfit has paid 100 per cent of depositors of the collapsed banks and was on course of settling all depositors of the Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions (SDIs).

President Akufo-Addo commended the BoG for the manner in which it handled the banking crises and pledged the government’s commitment to give the Central Bank the necessary support it needs. 

Justifying the need for the banking sector clean-up, he said the country’s financial sector was very fragile and, therefore, needed such a drastic measure to save it from collapse.

What baffled the President however were the accusations of government by the people who are alleged to have caused the banking sector crises.

He said the culprits of the crises have “found it convenient to be pointing accusing fingers at those of us who are trying to clean up the mess. But that is the way of things; those things never bother me too much because I understand the need for politicians to agitate.” 

President Akufo-Addo said the clean up enabled the country to come out of the financial sector mess and added that the sector is now in a strong position.  

He entreated the management of the Central Bank to publicise the efforts it is making to reform the financial sector for Ghanaians to be assured that such a mess does not reoccur. 

President Akufo-Addo expressed gratitude to the Central Bank for supporting the Economic Policy of his administration over the past three-and-a-half years, especially since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), with Ghana as its host, has the potential to change the economic fortunes of the African continent and added that the BoG has a critical role to play to ensure its success.

In a related development, President Akufo-Addo has expressed the government’s commitment to support the country’s financial market to enable it contribute to the vision of becoming a regional financial hub. 

President Akufo-Addo made these remarks when he visited the trading floor of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) in Accra yesterday in the company of the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare and the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta.

The purpose of the visit was to interact with management of the GSE and brokers trading on the floor to ascertain the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market. 

President Akufo-Addo urged the GSE to take advantage of Ghana’s position as host of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to expand its activities. 

According to him, the AfCFTA has the potential of becoming a major transformative initiative for the continent and indicated that Ghana has a dynamic contribution to its proper functioning and success. 

He said the GSE also has a critical role and should leverage on its reputation as one of the best performing and innovative financial markets and rise to the challenge ahead. 

President Akufo-Addo observed that the GSE has the potential to help build a robust private sector led economy and gave the assurance that his administration will give the market the necessary support it needs to become vibrant. 

He said robust financial market usually reflects the strength of an economy and pledged to support the GSE to enable it contribute to the growth and development of the country’s economy 

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, on his part, said the Ministry would support the GSE, which is 30 years this year, to enable it become a great market. 

“There is a lot to do but we have set the platform to be able to move forward when the President is elected this year,” he added. 

The Managing Director (MD) of the GSE, Ekow Afedzie,  said the President’s visit was the first time a sitting President had stepped foot on the trading floor of the GSE and thanked President Akufo-Addo for taking interest in their activities.

He said although the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has impacted the volumes of trade on the market, trading activities have not been seriously affected by the pandemic. 

He said the GSE has created separate markets for bonds and equity and appealed to the government to help attract companies to raise capital on the market. 

BY YAW KYEI

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