Business News of Thursday, 10 January 2019
The Central Bank has denied playing any direct role in the selection of five banks for recapitalization under the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT).
GAT is an arrangement of private pension funds to inject GH¢2 billion into supporting solvent and well-run indigenous banks, which were otherwise having difficulties meeting the new minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million.
The banks are the merged Omni/Sahel Sahara Bank, Universal Merchant Bank, Prudential Bank, ADB and NIB.
Following the announcement of the package on January 4, 2018, the Central Bank came under heavy accusation for eliminating some local banks from benefiting under the scheme.
But Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison says they had no direct role in the selection process, saying: “We have not played a direct role but we supported the initiative.”
Following the recapitalisation exercise that ended at the close of business on 31st December 2018, there are now 23 universal banks operating in Ghana. These banks have all met the new minimum paid-up capital of GHC400 million.
According to the Central Bank, 16 banks of the 23 met the new minimum paid-up capital requirement of GH¢400 million mainly through capitalisation of income surplus and fresh capital injection.
Three have also met the new minimum capital requirement through a merger. They are; First Atlantic Merchant Bank Limited and Energy Commercial Bank, Omni Bank and Sahel Sahara and First National Bank and GHL Bank.
The rests are ADB, NIB, Universal Merchant Bank, and Prudential Bank.