COVID-19: Ghana Association of Bankers to Donate GHS10m Against Fight

Ten million Ghana Cedis has been donated by the Ghana Association of Bankers to the government to help fund the purchase of test kits and equipment for coronavirus.

In a bid to educate the public and help control the impact of the Coronavirus on the financial services sector, the Association announced this generous act in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. D. K. Mensah.

“This is to ensure the sustainability of the industry and the economy."

The statement urged all financial institutions to be sure to sanitize cash regularly to help safeguard public health and extend current overnight limits to provide market liquidity to ensure that customers can access banking services during this pandemic.

It also encouraged the public to patronize the various digital channels as it waives off internet banking charges and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) charges for the period of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“To encourage the increased use of digital channels, the Ghana Association of Bankers shall for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic wave off Internet banking charges, charges on the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) Instant Pay (GIP), Mobile Money Interoperability which applies to only transfers from Ghs 100 and below excluding cash-out, and ACH Direct Credit,” the statement noted.

“To facilitate interoperability within the financial sector, member banks will work with Mobile Money service providers during the period of this crisis to put in place measures in the interest of the general public,” it added.

The Association assured that it will continue to monitor the likely consequences of the pandemic on the banking sector and actively take steps to manage the possible impact on the sector even though these measures will be reviewed after three months.

Ghanaian banks' safety measures to combat COVID-19

Banks have put some safety precautions in place to minimise the spread of the novel virus following some directives issued by the Bank of Ghana.

Some banks have sent messages educating their customers on how to conduct transactions on digital platforms and messages encouraging them to remain calm.

Stanbic Bank in a message advised its customers to ensure they have less contact with banknotes while admonishing the use of digital channels.

According to Ecobank, “It is collaborating with key health agencies on COVID-19 to ensure your safety while you do business with us”.

The Bank of Ghana has also introduced several incentives to help banks and other specialized deposit-taking institutions to withstand a possible impact of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What will this amount do for Ghana?
As the government is about to set up 15 Coronavirus test centres, this amount will contribute a great deal in ensuring the effectiveness of the centres. It would also cover some cost of acquiring equipment and protective gear for health professionals.