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Bank of Ghana, Bankers Association plan GH¢200m SME Fund

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Bank of Ghana3The Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Bankers Association are in discussions to establish Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) equity fund to support the growth of companies and to spur export development.

The fund is envisaged to have a seed capital of about GH¢200 million with the Central Bank and the Commercial Banks contributing 50 per cent each to the fund.

“This is early stage yet for the fund. We are now working to develop the mechanics,” Mr Simon Dornoo, President of the Bankers Association told journalists after the Annual General Meeting.

He said the banks and the Central bank would continue with talks in order to put in place the necessary modalities for the establishment of the fund.

On the economy, Mr Dornoo described 2014 as a challenging year for the banking industry but expressed optimism about the medium term prospects of the country.

“The medium term prospects are bright and as banks we are positioning ourselves to take advantage of the positive opportunities in the future,” he said.

He was however optimistic that 2015 might turn out to be more exciting because of measures being put in place to stabilize the economy.

In 2014, deposits of the banking industry grew to GH¢37.3 billion from GH¢27 billion, representing an increase of 36.6 per cent.

Profit also increased by 38 per cent to GH¢2.9 billion.

In an address, Mrs Mona Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance, said government’s objective was to increase the frontiers of access to financial services, improve credit provision and scale-up savings and investments levels.

“It is our expectation that, this will lead to capital accumulation and the necessary asset building required for our on-going fiscal consolidation process and the accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction in the long-term,” she said.

Mrs Quartey said to ensure that the financial services sector delivered on its mandate, government was working on the legal and regulatory environment, through enactment of new laws and review of outdated ones and building capacity of the regulatory authorities.

Some of the laws include the specialized Deposit Taking Institution Bill, Depositor’s Bill and the Ghana Deposit Protection Bill, which is currently before Parliament.

Mrs Quartey said the laws would provide an appropriate and robust legal framework to deal with emerging risk and vulnerabilities in the banking system.

Meanwhile, Mr Dornoo, who is also the Managing Director of GCB, has been re-elected as the President for another two year term.

Source: GNA

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