Bank of Ghana named 2019 Central Bank of the Year by Central Banking
The award for Governor of the Year was given to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has been named the Central Bank of the Year for 2019 by Central Banking Awards. BoG was given the award for carrying out an extensive reform of Ghana’s banking sector, according to a statement released on Monday by CentralBanking.com, a leading information resource on central banking.
"The Bank of Ghana has an impressive record of achievement, but the most notable is its reform of a seriously undercapitalised and poorly-managed banking sector," the Central Banking wrote in a statement. "The central bank has dealt with this complex set of risks, which could have caused serious damage to the country’s economy."
Governor of BoG, Ernest Addison, who assumed office in April 2017 has enacted reforms that are transforming Ghana's banking sector. Under the leadership of Addison, who holds a PhD in economics from Canada’s McGill University, the BoG trimmed the number of commercial banks operating in Ghana from 35 to 23 as of January 2019. In June 2018, the BoG issued a capital requirements directive for the country’s banks. Some banks were merged, while others had their licences withdrawn.
According to Central Banking, Addison said several of the management teams in Ghana’s banks had obtained banking licences through “false pretences.”
The BoG has reportedly performed well during the past three years. Apart from the notable reform of the banking sector, other achievements highlighted for the award include the 5-year strategy, called “National Payment Systems Strategic Plan (2019-2024),” aimed at fostering the the growth of digital payments and financial inclusion in Ghana.
In other to achieve this, the central bank wants to make it possible to use QR codes to carry out transactions in Ghana. It also plans to have a regulatory sandbox in place for financial technology (fintech) companies by the end of 2020. The BoG has also made improvements to its website, including giving it a more user-friendly interface and responsive web pages.
The bank has implemented tighter monetary policy, bringing down inflation rate from 19 per cent in 2016 to 7.9 per cent as of December 2019. This is within the bank's medium-term inflation target of 8 per cent with a band of ±2 percentage points.
In December 2019, the BoG published a set of principles aimed at encouraging environmentally-sustainable and socially-responsible practices by banks in Ghana. It was said to be one of the first central banks in a developing economy to put such principles in place.
Notwithstanding the BoG's achievements, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the central bank needs to ensure the recapitalisation of some of the banks that were put into resolution. While also advising on reduction of the non-performing loans in the banking sector, the IMF has also called for closer regulation of the country’s non-bank financial sector.
The award for Governor of the Year went to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. He was adjudged to have played a vital role in managing Brexit risks while driving efforts towards climate, payments and dollar funding reform.
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