GHANA: Banks see mobile money as major growth driver – PwC report

Banks say they see mobile money as a major growth driver of their business going forward.

This was one of the views of Chief Executives of 19 commercials banks captured in the 2019 Banking Survey Report.

The survey put together by accounting firm Price Water House Coopers. It sought to understand how recent regulatory measures impacted on commercial banks in the country.

This is coming at a time that mobile money has witnessed some significant increase in volume and value for the first half of this year. For instance, mobile money accounts held with banks reached GH¢3 billion ending June this year.

Background of the 2019 PWC Banking Survey Report

According to Price Water House Coopers this year’s survey was a build-up on last year’s survey, is premised on the wider banking sector reforms being driven by BoG with an overarching objective of modernizing and strengthening the banking sector “Banking reforms so far: topmost issues on the minds of bank CEOs”.

The survey also sought to obtain insights from bank CEOs and other top executives on the impact the reforms have had their operations. The banking Chiefs, Chief Risk Officers, Chief Operation Officer, and Head of Strategy through interviews and questionnaires carefully designed to elicit view on the impact of the Bank of Ghana’s reforms on their business.

Ranking of reforms based on the Banking Executives engaged

Eighty-two per cent of Chief Executives sampled cited Capital Requirement Directive as one of the major banking reform that would have the biggest impact on their operations.

Almost 73% of bank executives interviewed ranked full implementation of the minimum capital directive among the top three reforms having the most impact on their business.

Only 45% of bank executives marked digitisation as being among the top three reforms having the most impact on their bank business, while 36% of respondents selected corporate governance as being among the top three reforms having the most impact on their bank business.

Few respondents (18%) ranked Cyber and Information Security directive; Anti-money laundering & Combating the Financing of Terrorism; and Financial Inclusion and Sustainable Banking Practices as being among the top three reform having the most impact on their bank business, respectively.

Interestingly, the revocation of banking licences of insolvent banks seems to be having the least impact on banks according to the survey respondents, as only 8% ranked it as being their top three reforms.

Impact on Banking deposits

According to some bank executives, the increase in stated minimum capital is necessary and crucial in unlocking opportunities for players in the sector. They believe that now, banks have a level playing field and are in a position to partake in bigger ticket transactions that hitherto were not possible or were the preserve of a few international banks. An example is government syndicated loans

Where are banks going to deploy their capital after the recapitalization?

Eighty-three of bank executives indicated that they would deploy the new minimum capital to income-generating activities, particularly loans. The reasons given include:

· increased demand for credit driven by expanding economic sectors and the government’s need for deficit financing;

· general improvement in NPLs arising from the implementation of more stringent practices;

· government’s commitment to reducing/restructuring SOE debts.

While a good number of banks said they would increase loans especially to the private sector (specifically mining, agriculture and manufacturing sectors), 40% of bank executives would rather invest in government securities, especially treasury bills which offer good returns at almost zero risk.

Expansion of distribution channels to widen access to the market was ranked by 75% of respondents as among the top two areas they would deploy the minimum capital to. It would seem technology is indeed changing the way banks conduct their business.

Most bank executives responded that they would consider expanding their market through new digital product and channel development rather than brick and mortar branch expansion.

For others, operational efficiency will result from introducing new technology-based products and


What are the views of Banking CEOs on the revocation of banking license of Insolvent Banks?

According to the report, the majority of the banking executives were of the view that somewhat fair balance between incumbent banks regarding the impact of this reform. While 55% of respondents feel it has bolstered public confidence and sanitised the sector, others (45%) are reeling from panic withdrawals leading to liquidity challenges and heightened insecurity among bank customers, causing a reduction in their deposits and revenue.

What’s the future of banking in Ghana?

For every four out of five bank executives interviewed, the performance of the fiscal economy will have an impact on their business.

Most of them believe the impact will be more towards driving revenue growth as opposed to increasing cost.

Most bankers are bullish of Ghana’s economic growth in the medium term, citing government’s initiatives such as 1D1F, Planting for Food and Jobs (“PFJ”) Programme, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) etc as the key drivers.

Price Water House Coopers was of the view that medium-term outlook of Ghana’s banking sector is positive, bolstered by structural improvements that have been made in the sector and the reforms in the wider financial services industry.