Businessman, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom has expressed concern about the loan repayment culture in Ghana following the collapse of two local banks, UT and Capital Bank.

He said industry players have to be "aggressive" in recovering loans because data on non-performing loan ratio in the banking industry is alarming.

The withdrawal of the license of the two banks by the Bank of Ghana is not surprising because there had been prior warnings from the central bank.

"They told everybody that look these are your difficulties you must solve. Don't think this happened all of a sudden. It has been coming. 

"We have all had the warning signs; some have been able to deal with it some were not able to find the capital required".

Dr. Nduom, who owns the ISF Bank in Chicago said, in that jurisdiction, non-performing loans are not allowed to exceed 2% but in Ghana, the banking industry is grappling with more than 10%.

"We knew three years ago that there was a reckoning coming," he said, explaining industry regulators had forewarned banks of bad loans on books.

Dr. Nduom said the high indebtedness of banks is partly blamed government's failure to honour its financial obligations to banks on time.

Based on disturbing loan repayment data, Dr Nduom said his bank in Ghana, GN Bank began to address the issue by constituting a loan taskforce to ensure loan applications are properly vetted and loans recovered.

He said this effort paid off. "We are around 2.3 to 2.4. we want to bring it below 2%"

Urging bankers and industry players,  the Chairman of Groupe Nduom said: " let's strengthen our controls; let us strengthen our loan making…. and recovery practices".

Sympathising with the shareholders of the two banks, the 2016 presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples' Party (PPP) said  "I feel for the owners… it's sad to consider what has happened to them".

He said the collapse is even sadder because the banks are Ghanaian-owned.

 

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