Containing COVID-19: Banks in Ghana to support pharmaceutical firms with GHC3bn loan package

The Ghana Association of Bankers has said that it will make available GHC3 billion specialized loan package for the pharmaceutical companies operating in the country.

A Ghanaian Pharmacy

This is their way of supporting pharmaceutical companies in Ghana as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on businesses.

The Association explained that there a need to assist the pharmaceutical sector since it is an important one in the fight against COVID-19.

This is coming after the Association of Bankers earlier announced a GHC10 million to support the national fight against the pandemic. This contribution was for the procurement of equipment, support to frontline medical staff in residence, and to lessen the difficulties faced by vulnerable citizens during this period of the partial lockdown in parts of the country.

In a statement, the Association said that the loans will be given to pharmaceutical companies that decide to produce critical medical equipment to help fight the Coronavirus.

“GAB is in 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 GHS3 billion to pharmaceutical companies that decide to switch production lines to enable them focus attention on critical medical equipment or to enhance capacity of existing plants. The finer details shall be announced in due course when discussions are complete.”

Banks cut interest rate by 200 basis points to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

Meanwhile, the Association has also announced a cut in its benchmark interest rate by 200 basis points.

This they explained is to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals.

The 200 basis points reduction in interest rate translates to a 2 percent reduction on bank loans.

The Bankers Association has also decided to hold bilateral discussions with customers who have loan exposures with respective banks so they develop a more tailor-made solution with their bankers.

In addition to the above interventions, the Association “entreats customers during this period to switch to available digital banking platforms to enable banking halls of banks to handle limited banking services, as most fees on digital and other alternate banking channels have either been scrapped during this period or significantly reduced so customers do not have to make financial decisions on whether to switch to an alternate platform or not.”

“During this period of medical crisis with significant economic implications, the Ghana Association of Bankers will do whatever it takes to make the transition as less painful as possible. We will continue monitoring news updates from official sources and will update you should the financial implication mitigation plans change,” the statement added.

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