BoG likely to maintain policy rate to protect businesses – Alhassan Andani
Ahead of the commencement of the 96th regular meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana today, September 22, 2020, the President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, Alhassan Andani says he does not foresee an increase in the policy rate anytime soon.
The policy rate determines the rate at which the central bank lends to commercial banks, which subsequently influences interest rate on loans.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Mr. Andani said that the Bank of Ghana is likely to maintain the monetary policy rate to create an enabling business environment to help struggling Micro, Small and Medium scale enterprises recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think the general posture I want to believe will be to ensure that, we can have a quick and easy recovery. And therefore for businesses to access credit for the banks to have liquidity, but because of the slowdown in economic activity, GDP will be up to maybe 2%. I am sure the posture will be to ensure that the business environment is enabling enough for most of the SMEs and large companies to come back and start productions quickly.”
“The context of doing that is always the supply of credit and how affordable the credit is. So I expect that they will hold the policy rate. We have seen some bit of pressure on inflation, but the good thing is that it’s still within a range, so I suspect they will keep the policy rate [where it is at the moment],” he said.
He, however, explains that the current state of the economy does not support a decrease in the policy rate.
“At the moment I don’t think the fundamentals will support a decrease in the policy rate, especially when you still see inflation pressure. Also, we need to ensure that, the exchange rate is pretty stable, it is maintained and there is a fine balance between the two. Marginal borrowers would rather, where the interest rates are too low, to either you use borrowed funds or their own funds to start doing things which would hurt the foreign currency, so I don’t think the fundamentals are supporting a decrease of the policy rate,” he added.