Meet the requirements or merge – Council Of State tells banks

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The Council of State has entreated local banks to consider merging so that they can meet the new capital requirement by the Central Bank.

This comes after the indigenous banks petitioned the Presidency and the Council of State over the amount and timelines to achieve the new capital requirement.

The Council of State met with the Central Bank and the indigenous banks after which a statement was released.

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It called on the Bank of Ghana to increase its monitoring activities in order to bolster confidence in the banking sector.

“The council advised indigenous banks which could not meet the bank of Ghana’s capital requirement to enter into mergers to compete favourably and ensure sanity in the banking sector.”

“While supporting measures so far taken by the bank of Ghana to ensure prudence in the banking sector, the council urged the bank to broaden its avenues for public engagement. Ultimately depositors interest must be protected at all times, and the public needs to be assured to boost confidence in the banking sector,” the statement added.

In 2017, the Bank of Ghana increased the minimum capital requirement to GH¢400 million, equivalent to about US$100 million. This is a 333.3 percent increase from the minimum capital of GH¢120 million.

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Commercial banks in the country have up to December 2018 to raise the amount.

Banks were last recapitalized in 2012 when the BoG asked them to raise their stated capital from GH¢60 million at the time to the current GH¢120 million.

That round of recapitalization led to the consolidation of three banks, The Trust Bank (into Ecobank), Intercontinental Bank (into Access Bank) and Amalgamated Bank (into Bank of Africa).

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