Ghana: Grant us Sufficient Time to Implement Lessons Learnt - AFH

The Association of Finance Houses (AFH), has asked the Bank of Ghana (BoG), to grant financial institutions sufficient time as they seek to implement the lessons learnt from the recent clean up in the banking sector.

This, it said would give them ample time to plan in order to meet the regulator's requirements.

It also urged the financial sector regulator to provide liquidity support and continuous training to these institutions in order to deepen their knowledge and to enhance their operations, as well as provide support for Ghanaian businesses to facilitate their growth.

A statement issued and signed by Mrs Kokui A. Adu, Executive Secretary, Association of Finance Houses and copied the Ghana News Agency, said despite the BoG's effort in ensuring that deposits placed with licensed and regulated institutions were not lost during the recent cleaning up of the Banking and Financial sector, the uncertainty about the regulator's next steps had created enormous uneasiness among members and customers alike.

This had further dented confidence and had put everyone on edge, the statement said.

The statement therefore urged the BoG to stand firm in its responsibility of ensuring financial system stability and soundness by constantly monitoring and supervising all licensed finance institutions to restore trust and confidence.

It further said at an Annual General Council Meeting of the AFH on 'Building for the future and exceeding the vision', the Association noted that the portfolio of non-performing loans was at record high, resulting from delays in payments by borrowers and the Government for loans extended to its customers.

It further noted that this had led to the downgrading of its loan accounts.

"Despite the general attitude of Ghanaian borrowers, and the slow and bureaucratic judicial processes, we accept some responsibility for the situation.

"We have resolved to improve our credit assessment processes and sharing of information amongst members," the statement said.

It said succession plan was high on the association's agenda as it was deliberately attracting talent and developing them in order to retain staff.

"We believe that this will help build the strength of our organizations to ensure the long-term growth and stability of the industry," it said.

"Recently all Directors of Finance Houses, have completed a course on Corporate Governance Certification. This will ensure that our members adopt best practice and it will also strengthen our institutions through the transparent conduct of our work," the statement added.

The statement assured customers, particularly depositors of the Financial Houses' resolve to ensuring the soundness of the financial activities the Association's members and safety of their deposits.

It further stated the Association's readiness to work with the BoG in order to bring sanity to the financial sector.

"Many useful lessons have been learnt from the BoG's 'clean up' exercise. We are therefore going to work with the BoG to ensure that our members are able to continue supporting small and medium scale enterprises in the future," the statement said.

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