The Bank of Ghana has been blamed for not acting swiftly to stem panic withdrawals that have hit banks and savings and loans companies across the country.

Samuel Ampah, Head of Research at Group Nduom, says a structured and reassuring communication by the industry regulator would have quelled the fear that gripped depositors in the wake of the recent collapse of some five indigenous banks.

“It behoves on them [Bank of Ghana], in the midst of all these panic withdrawals, to come in. It wouldn’t hurt so much for the central bank to come and say ‘the people of Ghana, we are going through a reform, review; we are doing a whole lot of clean up in the banking sector but this is the stage we have gotten to and, therefore, we think that everything is ok now. Everybody put your money in the banks.

“For every economy to thrive, we need a very vibrant banking sector. That is non-negotiable,” Mr Ampah said.

His comments on PM Express on Wednesday come on the back of a national campaign by the Founder of Group Nduom, Papa Kwesi Nduom, against the panic withdrawal of deposits.

Banking crisis: BoG blamed for failing to stop panic withdrawals

The withdrawals hit banks and savings and loans companies following the collapse seven indigenous banks collapsed within a space of 12 months.

The banks ran into liquidity challenges, while some, according to the central bank, obtained operational licences under dubious means – in breach of the banking regulations.

Related: Cost of banking sector cleanup hits almost GH¢13bn

Speaking on PM Express on Wednesday the Head of Research at Group Nduom said “some believe that an intervention by the Bank of Ghana will calm the nerves of the people of Ghana. They are the regulators. We have several regulators like the Security and Exchanges Commission, the pensions regulators are there, the insurance regulators are there. But in the case of banks, it is the Bank of Ghana. 

"So some believe that if the central bank had come at the time to say that ‘look there are some banks that are not doing what they are supposed to do, therefore, we are going to revoke their licence and then there are some banks that we need to merge their operations.”

He suggested that the Finance Minister could have also calmed the nerves of depositors when the crisis struck.

“A similar situation happened [in an African country], it took the Finance Minister to tell the people of that country that ‘nothing is happening. Everybody calm down. The economy is doing well, there were some reforms in the banking sector, it has stopped; we are doing well,’” said Mr Ampah.

Watch the full programme in the video link below.