With the increased capitalization of banks, declining levels of non- performing loans, and better credit risk assessment in the banking system, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison has assured that better times are ahead for the pricing of credit in the country.
At the official opening of the new headquarters building of Standard Chartered Bank in Accra on Wednesday, Dr. Addison said “we have also observed a return to efficiency in the industry as operating expenses across banks are beginning to reduce, which should ultimately result in declining interest rates.”
He noted that the banking system is becoming stronger with capital adequacy ratio reported at 19.1 percent at the end of August, which is significantly above prudential requirement of 10 percent.
As the non-performing loans of the industry continue to decline, the Governor said, “we expect a major reduction as banks begin to implement write-off policies, in line with approvals received from BoG to address the legacy loans that have been fully provisioned for.”
All these conditions would lead to improved access to credit for small and medium enterprises, which constitute the largest population where the benefits of access to credit touch directly on the fabric of the society and income security, and the ultimate good of raising living standards, Dr. Addison stated.
He announced that, as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSA), this October, the BoG will inaugurate its Security Operations Centre (SOC) on October 22, as well as the cyber and information security directive for the industry.
“As the Bank of Ghana continues to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory frameworks to restore confidence and promote stability and integrity of the banking sector, it is important that we do not overlook cyber security measures to combat financial crime.”
Subsequent to the issuance of the directive, banks would be required to follow an implementation schedule to ensure that effective cyber security controls are in place to counter any form of cybercrime.
Through the Bank’s monitoring systems, Dr. Addison observed that there have been daily attempts by cyber criminals to bypass security controls and exploit vulnerabilities within the cyber and information security defenses of financial systems.
To counter these, the Governor said the Bank is strengthening and increasing the scope of Anti-Money Laundering risk-based supervision and collaborating with the Financial Intelligent Centre (FIC), Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and other law enforcement agencies to reduce the incidence of cyber-attacks on the financial sector.
By Joshua W. Amlanu