Business News of 2014-07-18

Bank of Ghana to introduce Deposit Protection Scheme

The Bank of Ghana is to introduce a Deposit Protection Scheme to consolidate its mission of promoting confidence in the financial system, especially in relation to protecting the savings of depositors.

The scheme will also encourage financial inclusion and access to formal financial services.

To this end, a draft Deposit Protection Bill has been finalized for onward submission to Parliament for passage into law.

Dr Henry Wampah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, who announced this at the 14th annual working luncheon of the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) in Accra, said the fallout from the global financial crisis had aroused interest in the protection of consumers of financial services.

“Inherent vulnerabilities and risks, coupled with the learnt lessons of the global financial crisis calls for a re-thinking of the legal and regulatory regime of our industry,” he said, in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Abdul –Nashiru Issahaku, the Second Deputy Governor.

Dr Wampah said the Bank is also working on the revision of the Banking Act, while a draft proposal of the Bank and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Bill, had been prepared and was under-going review.

He said the new Bill would incorporate some of the missing links in the current Act, including consolidated supervision, reinforcement on exposures of connected nature, prompt corrective actions, Islamic Banking, and detailed Resolution Framework.

On the performance of the cedi, Dr Wampah said pressures on the local currency still persisted although there was some moderation in the pace of depreciation on a month-on-month basis.

He said anticipated proceeds from the cocoa syndicated loan and from the Eurobond issuance estimated at almost US$3bn would provide significant support for the market in the second half of the year.

Besides, the onset of gas production in the fourth quarter of the year would also reduce oil imports going forward.

However, he said, the current depreciation of the cedi, while inimical to import-driven businesses and on the flip-side supports export-oriented companies which in my opinion lends itself to profitable funding opportunities for banks to foster economic growth.

At a press conference after the GAB annual general meeting, the President of the GAB, Mr Simon Dornoo, underscored the continued commitment of members to support the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He said contrary to impressions that members did not like to finance the SME sector, evidence from the loan books of members clearly showed that the level of support to the sector was huge.

Mr Dornoo said while the strategy of banks might vary as to how they support the sector, evidence existed to show that the SME sector was a major beneficiary of bank credit.

Mr Frank Adu Jnr, Managing Director of CAL Bank, said since more than 80 percent of companies in the country are SMEs, it clearly underscores the fact that the sector is a big beneficiary, adding that the loan books of banks showed that between 70 and 90 per cent of the credit went to SMEs.

Source: GNA
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