Lending rates should come down further – AGI

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is calling for a further reduction in Interest rates on loans.

The Annual Percentage Rates and Average Interest Rates recorded marginal drop in October last year compared to September of the same year.

Between September and October 2017 all but one of the nine categories of the Bank of Ghana’s Annual Percentage and Average Interest rate saw a marginal decline in interest rates.

The rates dropped between 0.6 and 1.9 percent within the one month period. The highest drop was 1.9 percent recorded for interest rates charged on loans for commerce, construction, and other consumer credits. The rates dropped from 31.3, 31.8 and32.4 percent respectively.

The least drop was recorded on loans granted to the agricultural sector. The figure declined from 31.0 percent to 30.8 percent between September and October this year.

That notwithstanding, the outgoing President of AGI James Asare Adyei said “there is the need for substantial reduction in the lending rates in the country.”

“That’s why the Central Bank has a role in regulating…we are not saying that the Central Bank should control but we want it to regulate the spread between policy rate and lending rate,” he added.

The Central Bank last year hinted at efforts aimed at reducing the lending rates for commercial banks to reduce cost of doing business in the country.

Speaking at the SME CEOs’ Summit, the first Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afari said the move would be implemented by gauging the prevailing conditions in order to accelerate economic growth.

“The Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee has lowered the policy rate by 450 basis points to 21 percent, and this week starting from Tuesday, it is meeting again to assess recent developments.

“After the cumulative 450 basis points lowering, we have seen lending rates come down by some 150 basis points. This is not as much as we expected and more will be done to bring lending rates down,” he said.

Source: Ghana/StarrFMonline.com/103.5FM

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