Banks ready to tackle financial crisis, says GAB

August 2, 2023

Mr Ebenezer Ashley, Executive Head, Research, Media, Business Intelligence and Market Conduct of the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB), said banks are strategically positioned to resist any potential economic shocks and financial crises.

This he said would be done through improved operational performance and adequate capitalisation towards economic stimulation.

He added that institutions in the banking industry were strategically positioned to better withstand potential episodes of financial stress while providing improved financial services to people within the economy and beyond.

Mr Ashley said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in , on the performances of the banking industry in the first half of 2023.

He said the sustained growth in deposits and higher capital levels ‘spoke' to the potential for financial deepening and credit growth.

“Undoubtedly, the banking industry projects a positive outlook in the immediate medium and long term,” he added.

The Executive Head said sustained reforms and operating strategies were reflecting in profitable, sound, solvent, and resilient banking industry, which remained ready to anchor accelerated growth through prudent lending to individuals and businesses in key and strategic sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

He indicated that banks operating in the country were responding positively to the economic recovery and were ready to transact business with well-meaning Ghanaians including individuals, households and various categories of businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The executive head said, “indeed, the resilience of banks remains robust as evidenced in the industry's spectacular performance during the first half of 2023.” 

He mentioned that data released by the universal banks in the country during the second quarter of 2023 affirmed stronger industry performance relative to the Q2 of 2022.

Mr Ashley said Prudential Financial data released by the banks during the first half of 2023 attested to the accelerated pace of the industry's recovery from the shackles of the recent debt restructuring programme.

He said the industry's aggregated balance sheet during the Q2 of 2023 depicted impressive performance comparative to Q2 of 2022, where the GHȼ242.4 billion recorded in the Q2 of 2023 fairly reflected robust growth in total assets.

The executive head said financial intermediation was enhanced by the boost in total advances, which increased from GHȼ63.4 billion during second quarter of 2022 to GHȼ73.1 billion during second quarter of 2023, representing 15.30 per cent growth during the period.

He said the industry's core liquid assets to total assets ratio increased to 27.70 per cent in Q2 of 2023 from 23.40 per cent during Q2 of 2022.

Mr Ashley indicated that the effects of the government's debt restructuring programme on the broader economy reflected on the industry's high non-performing loans' (NPLs') ratio in 2023 Q2 as 18.70 per cent compared to 2022 Q2 as 14.10 per cent.

“The implication is that conscious efforts of the government towards practical implementation of programmes that would enhance economic stimulation are needed to stem the tide of loan defaults,” he stressed.

Mr Ashley said these developments were indicative of the positive strategic measures rolled out by the banks to control costs while maximising revenues and profits to achieve organisational targets and objectives.

He said, “the banks are not oblivious of their critical role in preserving stability of the country's financial system and therefore, are consistently dialoguing and collaborating with the and other key stakeholders to ensure sustained stability of the banking industry.”

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