The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Association of Bankers, John Awuah has stated that the banking sector helped the country stay afloat despite the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy last year.

According to Mr Awuah, the banks during the period continued to offer loans to the average citizen on the basis that certain conditions were met.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express Business Edition, he noted that over GH₵4 billion worth of facilities were restructured.

“During Covid-19, we came out forcefully and said we as banks have taken the decision to not close the tap of lending but to strategically position our clients. Those that have gone through and have been adversely impacted by the pandemic, we sat with them and restructured over 4billion cedis worth of facilities. We brought down interest rate up to 300 basis points and new lending of almost 15billion in 2020.

“So banks were very active. Yes, we were careful but very active and when we say the country sailed through Covid-19, economically we did not suffer as much as other countries did. People forget the role banks played in the country achieving those kinds of glories,” he said on Thursday.

He stated that current data reveals that 16billion new loans have been given out – between June last year and June this year.

He further explained why some persons hold the position that the banks did not help mitigate the effects of the virus on the economy.

Mr Awuah noted that although a substantial amount of people could be assisted, it is the few who were unable to receive support who lament their plight to the public, hence changing the narrative.

“The story of credit or lending is a very difficult one. If you have 10 people or businesses in the credit pipeline and you are able to approve and disburse credit to nine of them and one of them for one reason or the other was not able to meet the conditions precedent to receive the loan or did not have the right bankable project, you have a problem. Because the nine will not go on radio talking. So when you hear about these we need to ask ourselves about those who are quiet.”

“There are a lot of businesses not talking because the banks are supporting them,” he stressed.

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