Mr Asare Akuffo, out-going President of the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), has said the third party limit of Ghc10,000 cash withdrawal over the counter is to prevent fraud and money laundering.
He noted that banks are opened to fraud when huge amounts of money are withdrawn over the counter and that the Bank of Ghana's new policy would help to reduce fraud, as well as protect customers.
Mr Akuffo said this on Thursday at the 32nd Annual General Meeting of GAB in Accra, during which the Association presented its report for the year ended December 2012.
He urged customers of various banks to embrace the new policy as it would help protect their deposits from fraudsters.
He promised that the Association would continue to collaborate closely with the Financial Intelligence Centre and the Economic and Organised Crime office to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
He said the banking industry in the country is making progress and that the year 2012 was not an exception. He added that the published financial statements of the industry confirmed that all the bank’s were adequately capitalised and were able to meet the 31st December 2012 deadline for a GHc60 million capital requirement of the Bank of Ghana.
“The usual competition among banks for deposits and general banking continued throughout the year, interest rates and yields from money market instruments appreciated considerably and the benchmark 91- day Treasury bill rate went up from 10 per cent at the beginning of the year to 23 per cent by the end of the year 2012,” he said.
Mr Akuffo said total assets of the banking industry grew to GHc26.56 billion in 2012 as against GHc18.96 billion in 2011, with industry players focusing more on growing quality assets in response to strict risk-based regulations from the Central Bank.
He said the industry’s overall non-performing loan ratio declined to 13.6 per cent in 2012, down from 14.2 per cent in 2011 and the average capital adequacy ratio index also improved from 17 per cent to 18.6 per cent following the Central Bank’s final phase directives on recapitalization.
"Total industry operating income increased by 46 per cent to GHc3.23 billion in 2012 up from GHc2.64 billion in the previous year, total operating expense correspondingly increased by 30 per cent to GHC 1.72 billion up from GHC 1.20 billion in the previous year and the total provisions for credit impairment went up from GHc192.7 million in 2011 to GHc309 million in 2012", Mr Akuffo said.
He gave the assurance that the banking industry would continue to cooperate with the Central Bank and the Government to improve the financial system for the achievement of financial stability and economic growth in the country.
Mr Millison Narh, first Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, noted that the critical role that the banking sector played in the economy could not be over-emphasised and that the Central Bank would continue to formulate and implement policies that would lead to the sustained growth of the industry.
The Association elected new executives, with Mr Simon Dornoo, Managing Director of the Ghana Commercial Bank as President.
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