Revocation of banking licenses build public confidence – Survey

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Accra, Sept. 5, GNA – A survey on the country’s banking reform sector revealed that 55 per cent of respondents welcomed the revocation of banking licenses, saying the measure would engender public confidence and increase investment in the medium to long term.
     Some banks, especially multinationals feel that they had not experienced any real change to their business, even though 45 per cent of the respondents were reeling from panic withdrawals leading to liquidity challenges.
     In total, the Bank of Ghana has revoked licenses of nine banks in efforts to clean up the banking sector and restore stability and resilience of the financial system.
     The 2019 Ghana Banking Survey was conducted by the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) Ghana Limited on the theme “Banking Reforms So far: Topmost Issues on the minds of Bank CEOs”.
     Mr Destiny Attatsitsey, Associate Director, PWC, who made the presentation in Accra said, the survey was conducted on bank executives of the 19 banks in the country through interviews and questionnaires to elicit their views on the impact of the central bank’s reforms on their business operations.
      The questions were framed to test their perspectives on the full implementation of the minimum capital directive, capital requirement directive, corporate governance directive, revocation of insolvent banks, digitization and financial inclusion, among others.
     On the capital requirement directive, the bank executives said the introduction of the directive had created some sanity in the Ghanaian banking industry by way of introducing a level playing field for all banks to comply with international standards.
      Also 42 per cent of the bank executives said in the long run, the directive requirements would stimulate more stringent assessment of the bank’s loan profiles and as a result, lead to reduced Non- Performing Loans in the market.
     However, some of the bank executives believed that initiatives adopted to optimize risk-weighted assets levels could possibly cause substantial damage to their business, the industry and the economy.
     Touching on the minimum capital directive, the survey showed that nine out of every 10 bank executives believed that the directive had a potential to increase the bank’s revenue.
     The survey showed that 67 per cent of respondents cited high credit risk as their major challenge regarding how to deploy the minimum capital while two out every three bank executives indicated that they would deploy the new minimum capital to income generating activities particularly loans.
     On digitization, the survey revealed that 75 per cent of bank executives said they had already achieved profitable revenue growth by encouraging customers to migrate to electronic channels, and intended to leverage this experience as they explore other markets and revenues for growth.`
      On corporate governance directive, the results showed that although 92 per cent of banks indicated that they had ensured fixed term contracts for all key appointments, they believe it was costly and undesirable to change certain key positions frequently.
     Focusing on cyber and information security directive, 92 per cent of the respondents said they place a high priority on cyber and information related activities, stressing that, the key challenges faced was the high cost involved in engaging qualified consultants for the service.
      On financial inclusion, the survey showed that 77 per cent of the banks assessed the economic, environmental and social risks affecting the projects and businesses they finance to mitigate any unforeseen risks.
     Mr Vish Ashiagbor, the Country Senior Partner, PWC said the medium-term outlook of the country’s banking sector was positive, bolstered by structural improvements that had been made in the sector and the reforms in the wider financial services industry.
     He said the intensification of the financial inclusion drive and growth in mobile and internet banking would facilitate greater credit access and expected the introduction of competitive products and services to create a convergence of financial and related services for customer convenience in the banking sector.

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