Growth rate of bank loan advances slows in 2020 due to COVID-19

The month of December witnessed the slowest annual growth rate in bank advances seen in all of 2020.

That’s according to the latest summary of Macroeconomic and Financial data released by the bank of Ghana.

Total amount of loans advanced by banks in the country at the start of 2020, stood at GHS46.5 billion, representing a growth rate of 30.6 percent over the loans advanced in January 2019.

The figure dropped marginally to GHS45.9 billion in February, representing an annual growth rate of 25.8 percent.

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The annual growth rate for bank advances continued to drop consistently in the subsequent months ending at 5.8 percent in December 2020.

Commenting on the slowdown in the annual growth rate in loans advanced, banking consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong attributed the development to the impact of COVID-19 but was confident the situation will improve when the pandemic is brought under control as well as when economic growth stabilizes.

Growth rate of bank loan advances slows in 2020 due to COVID-19
Growth rate of bank loan advances slows in 2020 due to COVID-19

Now what is affecting growth is the unfortunate incidence of COVID-19. While deposits have been coming in, loan advances have not been as anticipated because people are reluctant to contract loans in this period because of the uncertainty from the demand front. So that is the issue affecting growth. But it is a temporary issue. Once COVID-19 is over and the economy picks up I’m sure the growth will start increasing again.”

Annual growth rate in total deposits into banks however remained stable after slowing down in the first quarter. Total deposits at the end of the year 2020 stood at 103.8 billion Ghana Cedis whereas the total assets for the sector stood as at December 2020 stood at 149.3 billion.


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