John Awuah, CEO of Universal Merchant Bank
John Awuah, CEO of Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) has said banking industry in Ghana is burdened with too many ‘small’ banks that lack capacity to deal with big ticket projects. John Awuah added that the central bank must push through a consolidation agenda in order to create stronger banks.
His comments follow a ranking that is made by The Africa Report of the Top 100 African banks, in which not a single bank among the 29 or so banks operating in Ghana was able to make the list.
The list had banks drawn from as many as seventeen African countries including Togo and Burundi, but none was from Ghana.
CEO of the UMB said while speaking in an interview with the media said: “Banks in Ghana cannot operate in little pieces and anticipated to grow to the level that you can find in South Africa, North Africa or Nigeria.
The situation going on in Ghana at the moment is not one to be proud of, where big projects are happening around us — for example the Airport City project – and funding comes from offshore because local banks lack capacity to handle such transactions.
According to his view there is need for some level of consolidation to create megabanks. You can find at least two Nigerian banks in the top-20 banks. If this ranking had been done 10-15 years ago, you would possibly not have found those banks.
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