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Banks to implement base rate formula next month   
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Universal Banks in the country will from next month July 2nd begin the implementation of a new Base Rate formula in the country.

This is to ensure transparency in the pricing of credit in the banking system, the governor of the Central Bank, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah has revealed.

The banks began reviewing their respective base lending rates in respond to the Central bank’s decision to increase the policy by 100 basis points to settle at 16% from a rate of 15% last week.

The Committee based its upward review of the policy in the area of risks emanating from lower commodity prices, energy sector challenges, weakened business and consumer confidence and tightened credit stance.

The latest Bank of Ghana credit conditions survey showed a general net tightening of credit conditions. With the exception of consumer credit, which saw some easing, the credit stance for all other loan types including SMEs, large enterprises, short and long term loans were tightened in the period.

Annual growth in the private sector credit slowed to 28.7 percent in nominal terms at the end of March 2013, from 44.6 percent in March 2012. Similarly, annual growth of real private sector credit was 17.6 percent in March 2013, down from 32.9 percent in March 2012.

Banking sector performance was strong in the first four months of the year, with increased competition, asset growth, improved liquidity and profitability. Total assets of the banking industry increased to GH¢29.6 billion at the end of April 2013, compared with GH¢23.2 billion in April 2012. This was driven mainly by advances, which accounted for 42.5 percent of the total. The asset growth was funded by deposits which recorded an annual growth of 22.4 percent to GH¢20.7 billion at the end of April 2013.

Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio within the banking industry decreased to 13.3 percent in April 2013, from 14.1 percent in April 2012 while the ratio excluding the loss category, declined to 5.2 percent from 6.1 percent in the same period.

Interest rates on the Treasury bill market have broadly declined between December 2012 and April 2013. Both the 91-day and 182-day Treasury bill rates remained broadly unchanged at 23 percent.

The 1-year note rate fell from 23 to 22.1 percent, and the rate on the 2-year note declined from 23 to 22.4 percent, the 3-year bond rate fell from 21 to 16.9 percent.

There was no issue of the 5-year bond, therefore, the rate remained unchanged at 23 percent.

The weighted average interbank rate declined to 16.9 percent in April 2013, from 17.5 percent in December 2012.

Average lending rates of the banks were revised upwards to 27.1 percent in April 2013, from 25.7 percent in December 2012. The average rate on 3-month deposits remained stable around 12.3 percent, resulting in a wider spread of 14.8 percent in April 2013, compared with a spread of 13.2 percent in April 2012.
Source: Economy Times

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