Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Banks, John Awuah, says he is not aware of any bank undertaking rationalisation as a result of the domestic debt exchange programme.
Banks have registered significant losses in the first quarter of this year following the domestic debt exchange programme.
According to John Awuah, while the magnitude of losses was anticipated by bankers, there has been no discussion on rationalisation as a measure to cut cost.
“I would have known. I’m not aware of that. And to do that kind of significant rationalisation you need the consent of the central bank, and I’m not sure that the central bank has received any kind of info from the banking system. No bank has come out to say that we’re taking action on rationalization. No bank,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express Business Edition.
He was, however, quick to state that while he does not know the future plans of banks concerning the issue of rationalisation, no bank has yet made any indication that it intends to go that way.
“I can’t speak for the bank, but I can only say what has happened since the debt exchange. I have been in several meetings with all these MDs, I’ve been in meetings with Bank of Ghana, we’ve had all these discussions, at no point have we gotten to the point where a bank has said ‘o, we’re bringing a proposal to maybe undertake rationalization.’
“Banks will take a hard look at their numbers, those decisions lie in the bosom of the banks, you know, the banks and their boards who will go through the processes to see whether under the circumstances further work is needed on people, further work is needed on their other operational cost, further work is need on branch rationalization.
“Those are bank specific decisions. Bank A may decide to close branch A or branch B., another bank may decide to open new branches. This year I’ve seen some banks open new branches and this is after debt exchange,” he said.
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