Total loans restructured by banks to cushion customers severely impacted by the covid-19 pandemic stood at GH¢4.65 billion as at March this year.

This represented 9.8% of the banking industry loan portfolio.

According to the Bank of Ghana, growth in private sector credit slowed down considerably in April this year, compared with the same period last year.

From the beginning of the year to April 2021, new Loans and advances totaled GH¢10.5 billion, compared to GH¢10.9 billion for same period last year.

Banking Consultant, Dr. Richmond Atuahene told Joy Business, government must support banks to lend more to the private sector to stimulate economic growth.

“If you look at the credit to the private sector, we are no near where we are supposed to be to have transformational agenda or to recover in the post covid-19. So either government has to reduce its borrowing domestically to enable the banks to free credit to support the private sector…what we mean about the credit out.”

“Crowding out means that basically there is no credit anymore for the private sector for development. And that is not good for the general economy of the country”, he stressed.

Notwithstanding, slowness in credit demand conditions due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Central Bank said covid-related regulatory reliefs and policy measures continue to support lending activities in the banking sector.

Meanwhile, average lending rates of banks fell marginally to 20.9% in April 2021, compared to 22.4% recorded in the same period last year.

This may even go down further following the reduction in the Policy Rate by 1.0% to 13.5%