Banks in Ghana now stronger than before – Societe Generale MD

The Managing Director of Société Générale Bank, Ghana, Hakim Ouzzani, says Ghana’s banking sector is stronger now than before following the massive financial sector clean-up by the Bank of Ghana.

The central bank revoked the licenses of nine commercial banks aside from the twenty-three insolvent savings and loans companies and finance houses, and the 347 microfinance firms that were also declared insolvent.

Speaking to the media after a grand draw for the bank’s ongoing deposit and win a campaign, Mr. Ouzzani said all operating banks after the banking sector clean-up are in good standing.

“The Ghana banking sector went through some troubles, but the government and the central bank have really cleaned the banking sector.”

“With the capital increase that they have introduced, actually all the banks that are still operating we know that they are respectful of all the norms and regulations which have been introduced to make the banks strong. So, the existing 23 banks are stronger than the 35 that existed before,” he said.

He however advised Ghanaians to choose wisely where to save or invest their monies following the clean-up.

Government has explained that the collapsed indigenous banks had challenges that threatened the overall health of the banking sector, and that the Bank of Ghana was justified in its mass closure.

It says the banks had engaged in acts that could be considered fraudulent with some procuring their licenses under fraudulent means coupled with poor corporate governance practices.

In the view of government, the weak nature of these banks, threatened more than 4.6 million of depositors with several jobs on the line.

It says the decision by the Bank of Ghana protected the deposits of about 5 million depositors, while jobs were protected due to the creation of the Consolidated Bank to merge seven of the nine banks.