The Bank of Ghana says it will continue to hold banks operating in the country accountable.
According to the central bank, “We will continue to hold banks accountable. We will ensure the continuous sanity of the sector, and consistently apply the laws applicable to the sector”.
Speaking at the rebranding of Barclays Bank as Absa Bank on Monday, 10 February 2020, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, said the performance indicators of the banking industry are a broader reflection of the current state of the entire banking sector and an attestation that the reforms undertaken by the Bank of Ghana within the intervening period are beginning to yield the desired results.
“The banking industry has built up a much stronger balance sheet and recorded strong asset growth, improved quality of loans and profitability during the year. All the financial soundness indicators, measured in terms of earnings, liquidity, and capital adequacy remained strong”, said Dr Addison.
Continuing, the Governor said one of the key aspects of the banking reform agenda was the issuance of the Corporate Governance and the Fit and Proper Persons Directives for banks which banks are now complying with.
In particular, he said the enforcement of the Corporate Governance Directive has led to several board chairs and CEOs of banks ending their tenure, while Board members who had served for prolonged periods have been replaced.
In addition, results of a recent survey indicated full compliance with requirements of the Corporate Governance Directive on the size, structure, composition and qualification of bank Boards; due diligence in the appointment of key management personnel; and separation of the positions of CEOs and Board Chairs.
A total of 184 bank directors undertook the mandatory annual Directors’ corporate governance Certification training programme.
Of this number, over 50% have fully completed the programme, while the rest who are at various certification stages will be certified by the deadline of end-March 2020.
Dr Addison said: “Let me reiterate that as regulators, we will continue to commit our resources towards ensuring that financial institutions improve their internal controls and risk management systems 8 since the safety and soundness of institutions pivots on these principles. Also, we will continue to create an enabling regulatory environment that encourages innovation in the industry, while ensuring that we continually strengthen our supervisory and enforcement capabilities to ensure sanity in the industry.”
That way, he said, the Bank of Ghana can ensure that Ghana’s banking business is conducted in a safe and sound manner and with integrity, thereby retaining the trust and confidence depositors, and, indeed, the general public, reposed in the industry.
He congratulated Absa Bank Ghana and the Absa Group for the successful transition, adding: “I trust that we can count on your support as we move the banking sector to new heights in support of Ghana’s growth and development agenda.”