Banking in Ghana. Drivers, Aftermath and Paths to Innovation

Banking in Ghana. Drivers, Aftermath and Paths to Innovation

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In less than 18 months, a regulatory ‘clean up’ reduced the number of licensed commercial banks in Ghana from 34 to 23 institutions, fewer than there were in 2008. Understanding the causes, sequence of events and cast of characters (individuals, institutions and practices) is an obligation for stakeholders, investors and developmental partners alike.  

This report is written with that end in mind. Essentially, it aims to answer how this came to pass, who is who, and examine the outlook. Findings are organised in the following sections:

  1. Chronology – key developments involving the banks and the regulator between August 2017 and January 2019;

  2. Structural matters - underpinnings of the insolvency and liquidity crisis beyond the banks themselves;

  3. Direction and oversight – decision making and governance failings at Ghanaian banks, focusing on one particular case;

  4. Partial supervision – political and operational constraints surrounding the regulator and stakeholder response; 

  5. Outlook - trends and strategies.

Findings rest on secondary and primary research conducted by team members based in Accra primarily. Essentially, in addition to our in-house analyst team, the research draws on existing or former staffers from within the banking sector and regulatory agencies.

4548 words