Ghana cenbank triples minimum bank capital requirement to 400 mln cedis

A man trades U.S. dollars for Ghanaian cedis at a currency exchange office in Accra, Ghana, June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

ACCRA  – Ghana’s central bank has raised the minimum capital required for banks three-fold to 400 million cedis ($90.2 million) as part of measures to ensure financial stability, its spokesman said on Tuesday.

“With immediate effect, the Bank of Ghana has set out a new minimum capital requirement of 400 mln cedis for banks as part of a holistic financial sector reform,” Bernard Otabil said.

The previous capital requirement for banks and new entrants was 120 million cedis. Otabil said the increases took effect from Sept. 11 and that the lenders have up to the end of 2018 to meet them.

The central bank last month revoked the licenses of two banks and transferred their deposits and selected assets to state-owned GCB Bank in order to protect financial stability.

The new government of Nana Akufo-Addo has vowed to restore financial stability and fiscal discipline to stabilise the major commodity exporter’s economy. Ghana has been dogged by high public debt and budget deficits, forcing it to sign a credit programme with the IMF in 2015.

“Going forward, banks will require a more sophisticated and robust capital framework … consistent with the growing risks … banks are currently facing,” a statement by the regulator seen by Reuters said.

Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Tim Cocks

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