Ghana’s financial services sector is comprised mainly of the banking sector, insurance, and capital markets. The sector is regulated by four major regulatory bodies. Namely the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), the National Insurance Commission (NIC) and, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). The financial sector in Ghana plays an important role in the functioning of the economy through intermediation and provision of credit support to other sectors.
Ghana’s financial sector is dominated by banks. The banking sector is well-structured by the Bank of Ghana, and it has been developing steadily alongside reforms within the sector. The banking sector performed well in 2021, with continued increase in assets, deposits, and investments, according to the Bank of Ghana. According to Dr. Ernest Addison, the Governor of Bank of Ghana, the COVID-19 regulatory policy measures were maintained in 2021, assisting banks in lending activities. A total of GHS36.4 billion new loans have been given by commercial banks to the economy, representing a 6.8% increase over new advances of GH34.1 billion extended in 2020.
During 2021, Ghanaian banks’ total assets increased by 20.4%, reaching GH179.8 billion in December. The Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio fell to 15.2% at the end of December 2021 from a high of 17.3 percent in August 2021. In comparison, the NPL ratio in December 2020 was 14.8%. The bank of Ghana further maintained the monetary policy rate at 14.5% for 2022.
Generally, the sector remained well-capitalized, liquid, and profitable with strong buffers to withstand adverse shocks and support economic recovery efforts. Banks have expressed their willingness to incorporate remote working into their work practices and are therefore looking to invest in technology, partnerships, and training.
With a strong demand of financial technology (FinTech) in the Ghanaian market and the Government’s Digital Ghana Agenda, the Bank of Ghana has announced the piloting of the digital Cedi, or ‘e-Cedi,’ intended to supplement and serve as a digital alternative to physical cash, driving the Ghanaian cash lite agenda by promoting diverse digital payments and ensuring a secure and robust payment infrastructure in Ghana. It also aims to make payments possible without the use of bank account, contract, or smartphone, thereby increasing the use of digital services and financial inclusion across all demographic groups.
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