Commercial banks with local ownership still dominant – BoG

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has refuted reports that majority of commercial banks in the country are owned by foreigners. Some industry players have raised concerns about the directive by BoG to commercial banks to raise their minimum capital to GHC400million by December 31, 2018 which they say could led to extinction of local ownership A recent report published by GN Research expressed worry over the dwindling number of ownership of Ghanaian banks. It said foreign investment in Ghanaian banks keep increasing as local private interest witness a downturn. Figures from by the African Report showed the local ownership of banks in Ghana averaged 61% between 1992 and 2006. By 2017, the figure had fallen to 21 percent. The figure is in sharp contrast to other West Africa countries which have rather seen an increase in ownership from locals of their countries. The Bank of Ghana, on September 10, introduced the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) under the Basel two frameworks. The ICAAP will require banks to more than triple their minimum capital to 400 cedis by December 31, 2018. Critics say this directive could lead to foreign banks taking over to help banks raise the capital. But Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Ernest Addison disagrees. “We have also heard the argument about the minimum capital requirement and ownership of banks. I think we should just set the records straight. We have our records and it indicates that banks with local control are balanced. No foreign ownership is taking over”, he argued. He was speaking at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank breakfast meeting in Accra Tuesday. He said the central bank will support banks to be viable in order to help achieve government’s target of a Ghana beyond aid. “As the BOG we believe that amore benefits will be gained if we consolidate the financial sector to be strong to support a Ghana beyond aid and Ghanaian banks’, he added.

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By Grace Amoah||Ghana]]>