President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng, has called on government to institute some control mechanisms for banks to comply with the reduction in the monetary policy rate.
According to him, the regulatory control if approved will ensure banks comply with the reduction of the policy rate of 13.5%.
“We will plead with the Bank of Ghana or the government itself to find some control systems that will necessarily push the commercial banks to do what they have to do”.
Commenting on the time-span for most banks to re-adjust their pricing due to non-performing loans being high, Dr. Obeng revealed that it behoves on the banks to exercise diligence in rectifying the situation.
“That’s an excuse that we’ll never buy, the onus lies on the banks to do their necessary due diligences. The fact that someone is not paying his loans does not mean that it should be shared with the person who is paying legitimately. This is not fair; this is never done anywhere. The person who is paying his loans should be rewarded also, and the one that is not paying should be punished. If you lump it together and say that because people do not pay their loans, they are bad loans and all that, that’s why we have to spread the rates evenly.
“I can even smell some sort of cartel because you see in the world of competition, the race will vary from one to the other but, they’re almost all hovering around the same rate which is quite suspicious. So, when the rate is down, then of course, we are expecting that the lending rates [and] the commercial rates should also follow suit”.
Stakeholders commend policy rate
Meanwhile, the Chief executive officer of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Nana Osei Bonsu has commended the reduction of the policy rate.
“Well, it’s in the right direction because the policy rate is supposed to dictate the lending rate by the various lending institutions. But the policy rate has some skewed element in it that should not be there”.
Prior to this, Nana Otuo Acheampong, a banking consultant described as unexpected the Central bank’s reduced policy rate to 13.5%. According to him, this poses as great news for Ghanaians.
Mr. Acheampong further revealed that although the reduction came in the midst of the pandemic, he’s hopeful of the private sector receiving “more” loans from banks.
The current policy rate is expected to impact on the cost of credit in the next two months and stimulate economic growth.
Reduce policy rate
In December last year, the GUTA President called on government to reduce the policy rate for its members. According to him, businesses were hugely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting government’s intervention.
“The exchange rate is very stable but what we want the government to consider doing for us is reducing the interest because most of our members are solely dependent on bank loans”.
Dr Obeng revealed that, the rate at which GUTA members applied for the Covid-19 stimulus package clearly indicates that most businessmen survive on bank loans.
He revealed that the National Board for Small Scale Industries Covid-19 stimulus package was oversubscribed, meaning, traders were interested in affordable credit facilities.
In light of this, he appealed to the government to facilitate a compelling mechanism that would allow the commercial banks to reduce their policy rate.