The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has directed Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs)to desist from declaring or make any distribution to shareholders for the 2019 and 2020 financial years.
The central bank in statement issued on Monday said, “The Bank of Ghana now directs that all banks and SDIs desist from declaring and/or paying any dividends or distributing reserves to shareholders, and from making any irrevocable commitments regarding the declaration or payment of dividends to shareholders, until further notice.
“For the avoidance of doubt, shareholders in this context means holders of Common Equity Shares (CET1) and Additional Tier I (AT1) capital instruments of banks and SDIs,” the statement added.
As part of the measures to contain the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic, the Bank of Ghana permitted the utilisation by banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) of various capital and liquidity reliefs provided by the central bank.
On March 18, 2020, the Bank of Ghana directed banks and SDIs to desist from declaring and paying dividends and from making other distributions to shareholders for the 2019 financial year, “unless the Bank of Ghana was satisfied, that such institutions met the regular prudential requirements and were not relying on the additional liquidity released by the regulatory reliefs provided by the Bank of Ghana.”
The Bank of Ghana indicated that it would continue to monitor the evolving impact of the pandemic on banks and SDIs and on their customers, and would issue further directives as required.
The latest directive is in furtherance to the earlier one, and it is intended “to ensure that banks and SDIs are better able to support their customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to absorb any potential operational losses for banks and SDIs from the COVID-19 pandemic.”