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BoG Targets to Return to Profitability in the Medium Term

Bank of Ghana hopes to ride on efficiency and recapitalisation to return to profiting making

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) aims to return to profitability in the medium term following two consecutive years of substantial losses. In 2022, the BoG reported a significant loss of GH¢60.86 billion, followed by a GH¢10.50 billion loss in 2023, though the latter represents an improvement. However, the Bank hopes to recapitalise and apply efficiency to halt the decline in performance.

The Central Bank has been noted for posting profits. It recorded a profit of ¢1.23 billion in 2021, though lower than ¢1.57 billion recorded in 2020, its 2021 Audited Financial Statement has revealed. However, in 2022, and 2023 it made huge losses.

Despite the progress made last year compared to the previous year, the financial position of the Bank remains challenging. As of 31 December 2023, the total liabilities of the Bank and its subsidiaries exceeded their total assets by GH¢65.36 billion, an increase from the GH¢54.52 billion deficit reported at the end of 2022.

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In 2023, the total operating income of the Bank and the Group rose by 47.3%, reaching GH¢8.80 billion. This increase was primarily driven by higher interest earnings from the Bank’s investments in securities and bonds held abroad, as well as fines imposed on institutions for regulatory breaches, and various fees and charges.

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The recent financial difficulties have prompted criticism, especially regarding the Central Bank’s ongoing $250 million head office project.

To reverse the losses posted, the Governor of the BoG Dr. Ernest Addison said in the 2023 BoG annual report that “The Bank will continue to pursue policies geared towards high operational efficiency and, together with steps that have been initiated to recapitalise the Bank, the expectation is that positive equity will be restored in the medium-term”.

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Dr. Addison earlier announced plans for early recapitalisation after discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission to Ghana, which highlighted the impact of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) on the Bank’s financials. An agreement for early recapitalisation has been reached, with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Finance expected soon.

This announcement was made during a joint press conference in Accra on April 13, 2024, with representatives from the IMF, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bank of Ghana. The event also marked the achievement of a staff-level agreement with the IMF regarding the second review of Ghana’s 17th bailout programme.

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