Banking sector assets hit GHC179.8 billion in 2021

The BoG says asset quality in the banking sector continues to reflect the general pandemic-induced repayment challenges

Total assets of the banking sector grew by 20.4% to GH¢179.8 billion as at December 2021, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has stated.

According to the Monetary Policy Committee report, the performance of the banking sector in 2021 pointed to sustained growth in assets, deposits, and investments alongside improvements in the financial soundness indicators.

Asset quality however continued to reflect the general pandemic-induced repayment challenges as well as some bank-specific loan recovery challenges.

From the peak of 17.3% in August 2021, the NPL ratio eased further to 15.2% at end-December 2021.

Comparatively, the NPL ratio was 14.8% in December 2020. The industry remained solvent with the average industry CAR of 19.6% well above the 11.5% regulatory minimum threshold. Core liquid assets to short-term liabilities was 25.9% in December 2021 compared with 27.8% a year ago.

Net interest income grew by 14.5% to GHC12.8 billion, lower than the growth of 20.9 percent a year ago partly due to decline in interest rates. Net fees and commissions however recorded a 24.8% growth to GHC2.9 billion, compared with 5.0% last year, reflecting continued recovery in trade finance-related and other businesses of banks.

This resulted in a 14.6% growth in total operating income to GH¢17.4 billion, compared with 17.9% growth last year.

Operating costs increased by 14.2%, higher than the 8.2% growth for same period in 2020.

Loan loss provisions however contracted by 4.7% as at end-December 2021 from the 28.0% growth recorded a year ago, following the reversal of over-provisioning at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Profit-before-tax increased by 22.1% in 2021 to GHC7.4 billion, below the growth of 27.2% in 2020.


Credit performance improved marginally, consistent with the gradual recovery in the real sector. Annual nominal growth in private sector credit increased to 11.2 percent in December 2021 compared with 10.6 percent, in the corresponding period of 2020.

However, sustained price pressures weighed on 6 real private sector credit, which contracted by 1.3% compared to a modest growth of 0.2%, over the same comparative period.

The COVID-19 regulatory policy measures were kept in place during 2021 and helped provide some support to lending activities of banks.

New advances extended by the commercial banks to the economy was GHC36.4 billion, registering a growth of 6.8% compared with new advances of GHC34.1 billion extended in 2020.

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