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Banks demand payment plan for BDC debts

philip owiredu 620x330

Banks that are exposed to the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs’) debts want government to draw out a plan to facilitate payments from the Energy Sector Levies Act [ESLA].

They argue that the plan will facilitate payments and help them make the necessary provisions accordingly.

Explaining the impact of the absence of a detailed plan on the repayment scheme for banks, the Executive Director of CAL Bank, Philip Owiredu said the banks have been finding difficulty adjusting for the unpaid debts.

“Unfortunately, government has not been able to put any structure round the regular cash flow coming out from this levy to be able to model anything and determine how much to be disbursed every month,” he asserted.

Mr. Owiredu was responding to questions during the bank’s fact behind the figures session for its first quarter performance for 2017.

According to him, even though some payments are being effected, an agreed plan should help both government and the affected banks.

BDC debts estimated at 4 billion cedis

Claims accruing to the BDCs for 2014 and the first half of 2015, amounted to 2.5 billion cedis.

Although accurate figures are yet to be reported on their claims post 2015, the banks are projecting the figure to increase to about 4 billion cedis.

Government has since made payments totaling 1.5 billion cedis with an outstanding amount of 1.9 billion cedis.

Philip Owiredu further stated that the model should help reduce the rising NPLs of banks.

“The law says the levy shall be in place for ten years and on an annual basis, out of the levy, at least about 90 million cedis is going to be used to pay the BDCs,”

“So the cashflow is coming in and it is being held by banks including CAL bank and that is what we want to engage government on to ensure that at least we agree on what we are supposed to do whether it is going to take a year or ten to get it through,” he observed.

CAL Bank’s 2017 Q1 performance

In the first quarter of 2017, CAL Bank’s customer deposits increased from 1.6 in the first quarter of 2016 to 2.3 billion cedis.

Also the bank’s NPLs went up to 9.2 percent from 4.8 percent.

Meanwhile, its profit dropped by 22.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

The figure dropped from 40.8 million in the first quarter of 2016 to 31.7 million cedis in the same period in 2017.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Ghana Business News