Ghana's banking sector standards have dipped – Banking expert asserts

Ghana’s banking sector has fallen back from the world standard, an expert in the sector, Dr. Richmond Atuahene has claimed. The fall in standards, he said is attributable to weak risk management practices, ineffective board practise, dormant board committees, overburdened CEOs and board chairmen. He also mentioned failure of corporate governance, poor and weak and relaxed supervision as other factors that have over the years accounted for the decline in standards in the banking sector. His comments come on the back of the recent takeover UT Bank and Capital Bank in 2017 and Unibank this year over their capital inadequacy. Several microfinance companies were in March and April this year shutdown by the regulator while some 30 others have been hauled before the Economic and Organised Crime Office. Dr. Atuahene argued the current decline in standards in the sector would require strict enforcement of prudent banking regulatory practices to sanitize and build a robust sector to catch up. Speaking at the April edition of Accra Speaks on the theme, ‘Governance of the banking sector in Ghana, he charged the bank of Ghana to sit up and discharge its duties “in a solid and austere manner”. Dr. Atuahene said the skill of managing banks requires a lot of prudence and that the interest of the customers must always be of outmost concern to the regulator. “We should be very careful when it comes to managing banks, so corporate governance in banks is not just about looking at the interest of the shareholder, the prime concern of the regulator in every jurisdiction is to protect the customers’ livelihood”, he said. On the 400 million minimum capital requirements, he said, there is the probability of acquisitions and merger before the beginning of next year. In his view, the recapitalization policy will not work if the currency is not stable. He thus charged the Bank of Ghana to work diligently to sanitize the banking sector. “What we haven’t talked about is the currency depreciation. There must be a concrete effort, we should manage the currency  so that in the next 10 years they will not be sitting here to tell me to bring more capital” he said.

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By Nuong Faalong||Ghana]]>