A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Dr. Lord Mensah, has opposed assertions by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, that the banking sector clean-up which resulted in the setting up of the Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG) yielded positive results including improved deposits.
Mr Ofori Atta, during the mid-year budget review in Parliament on Monday, July 29, said deposits have improved in the banking sector due to the clean-up exercise which saw the collapse of nine universal banks.
But speaking on The Key Points on TV3, Dr Lord Mensah said the minister’s comments could not be true because the whole clean-up exercise “is not worth the cost”.
He explained that the improved deposits the Finance Minister talked about was as a result of panic in the financial sector which saw people withdraw their monies from Savings and Loans companies and deposited at the banks for the fear of losing them.
This, he said, was after the public got wind of information that there was going to be a clean-up in the Saving and Loans sector.
“I can tell you that there is no improvement,” he responded when asked if he thinks the clean-up exercise has improved the banking sector.
“Funds started flowing from these savings and loans companies into these banks,” he noted.
According to him, the deposits Mr Ofori-Atta touted as success of the clean-up “are not new customers” but “just the same money moving within the system”.
“There is no confidence in the sector,” he maintained.
While he argues that the best approach would have been for the BoG to do a wholesale clean-up, banking consultant Nana Otuo Achempong explained government did no have money for a wholesale.
Mr. Acheampong argues that once there were higher year-on-year returns from the banks, it is fair to suggest there is an improvement in deposit mobilisation.