Governments and central banks around the world have responded with unprecedented bold policies and other measures to provide liquidity to financial markets and to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the private sector especially small businesses and low-income households, Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison, has said.Speaking during a webinar organized by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and the BOG on the theme “Integrating Gender Considerations Into Covid-19 Policy Solutions” Dr Addison said the global economy has been severely impacted by the pandemic, leading to what may be the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
“The global economy has been severely impacted by the pandemic, leading to what may be the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Governments and central banks around the world have responded with unprecedented bold policies and other measures to provide liquidity to financial markets and to cushion the impact on the private sector especially small businesses and low-income households,” he said.
Regarding what the BoG has done to assist businesses in Ghana to deal with the ravages of the pandemic he said “The Bank of Ghana’s policy and regulatory measures since March 2020 have included: 150 basis points reduction in our monetary policy rate; a reduction of the Capital Conservation Buffer for banks from 3 percent to 1.5 percent; a reduction of the Cash Reserve Requirement for banks from 10 percent to 8 percent; a reduction of the 8 percent primary reserve ratio of savings and loans companies, finance house companies, and rural and community banks to 6 percent, and the 10 percent primary reserve ratio of micro finance companies to 8 percent.
“A reduction in provisioning for loans in the “OLEM” category from 10 percent to 5 percent for all banks and specialized deposit-taking institutions (SDIs); preparedness to provide liquidity support to banks, savings and loans companies, and finance houses as needed and in strict compliance with statutory requirements, and to support the rural and community banks and microfinance sectors working with the ARB Apex Bank;
“Loan repayments by customers of SDIs which had been classified as “past due” for up to 30 days, were to be reclassified as “current”; all mobile money users were permitted to send up to GH¢100 (USD 18) for free (excluding cash out) to recipients on the same network or other networks through the interoperability platform; mobile money subscribers were allowed to use their existing mobile phone registration details for on-boarding of Minimum Know Your Customer (KYC) Account and daily and aggregate monthly transaction limits as well as mobile money wallet limits were increased; and increased public education on mobile money and other electronic money fraud.”