The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari made the revelation while speaking at the Ghana-EU summit on investments for sustainable job creation.
According to him, the central bank is hopeful that the move will reduce the impact of high NPLs on the books of banks and thus ease access to credit for the growth and expansion of businesses.
It will as well help drive down interest rates of banks.
“Writing the debt off does not mean you will not go after those debts. But this means you can clean your books and set them aside and use the debt restructuring programme to go after those loans. The clean-up will reflect the true NPLs ratio without legacy loans,” he noted.
He added that “We have engaged the banks, and we have agreed on a write off policy. They have started writing that portion of the ten percent which is due to legacy loans. And we have a timeline, and we believe that by the time we get there, that portion will be off, so we will be talking about NPLs that go into higher single digits or lower double digits.”
At the end of March 2019, the banking sector’s non-performing loans ratio stood at 18.7 percent.
“In spite of the improvements through the enforcement of loan write-offs, NPLs are still high at 18.7 percent at the end of March 2019. This level by all measures is unacceptable and more work needs to be done in this area,” the Governor of the Bank of Ghana recently noted.