Banking experts are confident Ghana’s economy can compete as a financial world leader despite the challenges facing several banks earlier this year.
One of the experts who is Head, Corporate & Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr. Kwamina Asomaning, however, says banks must rely heavily on three critical areas: regulation, behaviour and policy.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting led by Bank of Ghana Governor Dr Ernest Addison in Accra on Tuesday, Asomaning says proper knowledge on liquidity and solvency will be key to restore banks back onto a path of profitability and sustainability.
“Lack of solvency leads to liquidity challenges and not the other way around,” he says. “There are three areas where banks are making some adjustments to allow banks to build up their levels. And those three speak to the assets, liabilities and equity.”
He insisted that part of what went wrong involved banks lending to businesses despite their inability to pay back their loans.
“Banks need to change their posture and approach to creditors,” he said. "We have work to do, but we are on the right track."
Regarding policy, Asomaning insists government must shift towards a greater level of capital formation. Debt seeking investors have crowded the market whereas entities that are invested in pledging equity has waned, he explained.
Senior Country Partner of Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) Mr. Vish Ashiagbor agrees. He stressed that the global banking system runs on a basis of confidence. So if one part of the system is down, it creates tension in the entire sector.
“Because of the role banks play in economies, it is particularly important that we pay attention to these issues,” said Ashiagbor.
Locally, incidents like the Unibank fallout, which shook Ghana’s market earlier this year, worried consumers and banking officials alike, but Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Awadzi is assured it will reshape soon.
“We have access to all the information we need regarding the state of affairs [at Unibank]. There are various options available to us,” she says. “With more planning as to where things are, we will come with a plan of action. Customers are bringing in more money. It’s stable, and we are working with how to get a better hold with restructuring the bank.”