Banking Industry Shows Strong Growth

The banking industry continues to show strong growth with total assets soaring to GHȼ70.39 billion, representing an increase of 22.3 per cent over that of year 2014.

Mr. Raymond Amanfu, Head, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, Bank of Ghana (BOG), who announced this said loans and advances constituted 45.5 per cent of the figure.

Addressing the 31st annual general meeting of the Atwima Mponua Rural Bank, he stated that credit growth during the period was funded mainly by increased mobilization of deposits by the banking system.

Credit to the private sector, however, tightened, increasing by 23.50 per cent compared to the previous year’s 51.60 per cent.

At the same time non-performing loans ratio also increased to 14.10 per cent from 12.20 per cent.

Mr. Amanfu gave high marks to the rural and community banks (RCBs) for their significant contribution to the nation’s economic development, accounting for 3.4 per cent of the total assets of the banking industry.

He expressed the determination of the Central Bank to continue to provide appropriate oversight and enhanced legal and regulatory environment that was supportive of a thriving banking and financial sector.

He announced an increase in the minimum paid-up capital for the RCBs from GHȼ150,000.00 to GHȼ1 million.

This, he said, was to help strengthen them to undertake big-ticket transactions and to further serve as a capital cushion to absorb unexpected losses in the normal course of business.

Mr. Amanfu noted that good corporate governance and risk management systems were at the heart of any successful business and urged the management of the banks to adopt effective risk management practices.

That would aid them to clearly identify, measure, control and mitigate the risks associated with their operations.

He asked that the banks to put in place adequate measures to address the challenges of risks facing them, especially, operational and credit risks.

He again counseled that they dealt swiftly and appropriately with staff found to be engaged in unethical banking practices.

Amid the difficult market conditions, Atwima Mponua Rural Bank produced impressive operational outcomes with its assets climbing to GHȼ38.06 million from GHȼ29.72 million.

Total deposits also hit GHȼ29.55 million as against GHȼ23.42 million in the previous year, while loans and advances grew by GHȼ0.99 million from GHȼ12.29 million to GHȼ13.28 million.