Ghanaian banks have reduced interest rates on all existing local loans by 2% and new loans. The banks also held discussions to rescue the worst-hit industries as a result of the lockdown due to COVID-19. The banks also agreed to either reduce or scrap all charges on digital banking platforms. In their statement, they said that they were working on a balance between interests and public benefits during these hard times.
Pharmaceutical companies were also granted loans at their disposal amounting to GH¢ 3 billion at relatively low prices. In a statement: “GAB is in the final stages of discussions with our regulator (the Bank of Ghana), the Finance Ministry and member banks to set up gross loans on preferential terms (details to be announced later) of up to GH¢3 billion to pharmaceutical companies that decide to switch production lines to enable them to focus attention on critical medical equipment or to enhance the capacity of existing plants.”
The banks agreed to continue monitoring the situation in the country as a result of the COVID-19 effects. The banks added that: “GAB recognizes that unusual circumstances call for response in unusual manner and, therefore, fully associate and urge compliance with the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation, the Ghana Health Service and the President to stem the spread trajectory of the virus.”
Almost all sectors in the country are hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The country currently has 313 cases and with the current rise, tough times are expected. However, the banks have vowed to support all institutions that offer essential services to ensure that Ghanaian citizens receive proper services. The countries most hit sectors at the moment include tourism, transport, and the hotel sector. Other sectors are also hard hit especially in the towns that are currently under lockdown.