The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, has lauded commercial banks’ compliance with new corporate governance directives issued in the aftermath of the banking sector clean-up.
Dr. Addison, speaking at the launch of rebranded Barclays Bank Ghana to Absa Bank Ghana Limited, said the central bank’s directives were intended to create a strong banking sector and enhance their financial intermediary role in supporting the economy.
The central bank in shutting down nine commercial banks between 2017 and 2019, among other reasons, cited poor corporate governance structures as contributing to the poor running of the affected institutions.
“Results of a recent survey indicate full compliance with requirements of the Corporate Governance Directive on the size, structure, composition and qualification of bank Boards; due diligence in the appointment of key management personnel; and separation of the positions of CEOs and Board Chairs.”
A total of 184 bank directors undertook the mandatory annual Directors’ corporate governance Certification training programme. Of this number, over 50 percent have fully completed the programme, while the rest who are at various certification stages will be certified by the deadline of end-March 2020,” the governor stated.
The Governor explained that the bank’s enforcement of the Corporate Governance Directive has led to several board chairs and CEOs of banks ending their tenure, while Board members who had served for prolonged periods have been replaced.
Dr. Addison argued that the banking sector’s performance after the reforms, which commenced in 2017, has been encouraging and as regulators, the central bank will continue to hold banks accountable by applying the laws applicable to the sector.
Barclays’ transition to Absa
The Governor added that as Absa Bank Ghana aspires to become a forward-looking digitally-led bank, the Bank of Ghana is counting on the bank to contribute to the development of digital solutions that make banking more convenient, while providing more avenues to make financial services more accessible to the unbanked.
“The central bank expects the changeover to Absa to carry along the level of excellence, leadership, and professionalism that has become synonymous with the 100-year Barclays heritage in Ghana. This is what has endeared the general public to Barclays, and that is what will be expected from Absa.”
“I believe that Absa Bank Ghana will carry the same principles into the next 100 years, and the new footprints will become even more exciting if the Ghanaian public have an opportunity to become shareholders in Absa Bank Ghana in the near future,” the Governor said.