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13.04.2011 Business & Finance

Swiss Government supports Bank of Ghana for collateral registry

By myjoyonline
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The Bank of Ghana has received support from the Swiss Government to develop a web-based collateral registry that will facilitate access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana.

A USD 350,000 agreement to this effect has been signed between the Bank of Ghana and the Swiss Government at a ceremony in Accra today.

The agreement is part of a USD 1.25 million support from the Swiss Government to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which is implementing the Secured Transactions Project with the Bank of Ghana to ease access to finance for Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana. It also comes on the back of the Borrowers and Lenders Act 773 which was passed in 2008 to establish a collateral registry which is currently being housed at the Bank of Ghana.

Ghana's credit market is highly competitive, but most banks lend to enterprises that are able to offer immovable assets as collateral; yet even with collateral, banks are unwilling to provide lending due to the risk that collateral may have been used in multiple borrowing. The collateral registry will hold information about creditors' collateral which they have provided as security for loans. This information will be accessible to other lenders.

Through the support of the Swiss Government - being facilitated by the IFC - the Bank of Ghana will re-design the current registry system to a modern web-based Secure Transactions Registry System and also transfer existing data in the current collateral registry system to the new web- based registry. Registry staff will be given software training to ensure a well-functioning modern collateral registry.

A statement by the Bank of Ghana says "As the regulator and supervisor of the credit market in Ghana, the Bank of Ghana is appreciative of this support from the Swiss Government and considers it timely. At a time when Ghana has been adjudged the best destination for doing business out of 183 countries in terms of easy access to credit in the recently published Doing Business Report launched for 2011, this intervention by the Swiss Government and the IFC is laudable and will complement the effort Government and the Bank of Ghana are making in ensuring easy access to credit in the economy especially by small and medium scale enterprises".

Mary-Jean Moyo, IFC Accra-based Country Manager said, "IFC's partnership with Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on this program has encouraged more robust economic development and opportunities in Ghana. Supporting an improved financial infrastructure is critical to attracting private investment and improving access to finance for a wider range of borrowers."

About the Embassy of Switzerland
The Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana implements the official Swiss Economic Development Assistance to Ghana granted through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Switzerland's assistance to Ghana concentrates on economic and trade measures in four main domains, one of which aims at further developing the Private sector by supporting the improvement of the business and investment environment and introducing innovative financing mechanisms; The support to the Bank of Ghana falls under the financial sector development and strengthening strategy of SECO in Ghana.

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