The Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee will today [Wednesday], March 18, 2020, meet to assess the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the domestic economy.
This is to enable the regulator take the necessary steps to mitigate its impact and ensure financial and economic stability.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Bank said “The Committee’s assessment of the situation and interventions shall be communicated accordingly on Monday, 23rd March, 2020.”
In the interim however, the Central Bank has asked all Banks, Savings and Loans Companies, Finance Houses, Microfinance Institutions, Rural and Community Banks and Foreign Exchange Bureaux, to activate their business continuity and disaster recovery plans proportionate to the current circumstance, and to review these plans as the situation changes.
All financial institutions operating in the country are to take adequate steps to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
Ghana has already recorded 7 cases of the disease which has killed over 7,000 people out of nearly 180,000 cases globally.
All seven of Ghana’s cases have been described as imported since the individuals in question had traveled to either Europe or the USA over the past two weeks.
The Central Bank in a statement, has asked all the institutions to ensure that all Banking Halls, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Counting Machines and other relevant equipment are sanitized on a regular basis.
In addition, financial institutions are to make sure their staff and customers comply with the social distancing practice, as well as ensure that critical and front line staff are provided with protective equipment and gears such as gloves, face masks among others.
“The Bank of Ghana has been following the news and developments of the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Not only has the life threatening nature and rapid transmission of this disease been felt globally, it’s significant impact on the global economy is also being felt, especially in advance economies. Central Banks in these jurisdictions, have taken measures to mitigate the negative impact of the Pandemic.”
They’re also to abide by the public notices and advisory issued by the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and other relevant authorities, in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and ensure that all electronic channels are fully functional at all times, and ATMs do not run out of cash.
The Bank also advised the general public to strongly refrain from panic withdrawals, and banks and specialized Deposit-taking Institutions, shall remain open to offer services to customers.
Ghanaian banks announce safety measures to combat COVID-19
Already, some banks in the country are deploying safety measures to check against the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Messages sent out to customers by the banks urged their clients to remain calm as they collaborate with relevant health authorities to ensure their safety.
With currency notes found to be one of the conduits for the spread of the COVID-19, Stanbic Bank in a message advised its customers to ensure they have less contact with banknotes while admonishing the use of digital channels.
According to Ecobank, “It is collaborating with key health agencies on COVID-19 to ensure your safety while you do business with us”.
The National Investment Bank (NIB) also told its clients like many other companies that it is taking the necessary steps to ensure their safety.