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21.06.2004 Business & Finance

Banks Are Not lending Enough -Senior Minister

By Times
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Mr. J. H. Mensah the Senior Minister, has expressed concern about the lack of capital for business start ups in Ghana, although, according to him, ”so much money is locked up in assets, deposits and investments in the country's banking institutions.”

He said that Ghana was not actually lacking capital, but the banks were failing to lend money to the people who need it.

Mr. Mensah was speaking in Kumasi at the second annual general meeting of ARB Bank.

He said “a study of the performance of the banking industry attests to the fact that while the banks have not been advancing very much money to businesses in the form of loans, they retain substantial amounts of assets, deposits and investments.”

Quoting from the 2003 annual report of ARB Apex Bank to strengthen his argument, the Senior Minister said, “your total assets for 2003 were ¢1.275 trillion, total deposits were ¢949.17 billion and investments totalled ¢524.66 billion. Yet interestingly, your loans for the period amounted to just ¢34.843 billion representing less than 3 per cent of your assets”.