The Bank of Ghana is planning to increase the minimum capital required for commercial banks to operate to over GHC100 million.

JOYBUSINESS has learnt the decision has been influenced by the fact that the current 60 million is inadequate for banks who seek to participate in emerging sectors of the economy.

Sources at the Central Bank say the move has also been influenced by the fact that it always has to give waivers to banks to finance oil transactions beyond the required limit.

The current banking laws restricts banks from extending capital to individuals or a single transactions not more than 25 percent of their net worth.

JOYBUSINESS has gathered that the Central Bank is planning to up the capital first, for new entrants, before passing it on to commercial banks in operation.

The Bank of Ghana is however silent on the definite time for introducing this capital requirement.
In 2009, the Bank of Ghana raised the minimum capital required to GHC60 million, and banks with majority foreign ownership were required to pay by the close of 2010, while local banks were given up to the end of 2012.

Acting Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Kofi Wampah in August announced that six commercial banks, including a foreign bank are yet to meet the minimum capital requirement of 60 million Ghana cedis.

Some local banks are however worried the move is gradually pushing them out of business or into foreign hands; some are also unhappy that this is leading to the artificial growth of banks due to mandatory capital requirements.