Obtaining A Banking License In Ghana

Ghanaian law requires that banks obtain a license in order to legally operate.

The law that governs the procedure and the statutory requirement for obtaining a banking license in Ghana is the Banking Act, 2004 (ACT 673). Under the Ghanaian laws, a bank must be incorporated and given a certificate of incorporation before it starts operation. If the bank deals with foreign investment, the bank must be registered under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act. A person who carries on banking business without a banking license commits an offense and is liable for conviction.

Procedure for Applying for License

The application for a banking license shall be made in writing to the Bank of Ghana to carry on the business of banking.

The application must indicate the type of banking license the applicant is seeking (i.e.) whether general banking license (class one and two), class one banking license (universal banks, that is all the traditional banks in Ghana) or class two banking license (offshore banking).

The application must be accompanied with a certified true copy of the Regulations, the names, addresses, and occupations of persons including their corporate affiliations who will hold significant shareholdings, directly or indirectly, in the proposed banking business, the particulars of the directors concerned with the management of the banking business, the feasibility reports including a business plan and financial projections for the first five years and areas of specialization intended, and documentary evidence of the capital, their sources and other sources of funds.

Final Approval and License

After the application, Bank of Ghana may or may not interview the promoters of the Bank or the senior managers of the proposed bank.

The Bank of Ghana may go ahead and grant the application upon being satisfied with some conditions by issuing a provisional approval for a specified license for the applicant on the terms the Bank of Ghana considers appropriate.

The Bank of Ghana may issue to the applicant the final approval and a license of a specified type to carry on banking business after the bank is satisfied with the organizational and infrastructural arrangement made by the applicant as well the applicant’s ability to carry on with all the terms and conditions stipulated in the provisional approval. The license given to the applicant cannot be transferred or assigned without prior approval of the Bank of Ghana.

The Bank of Ghana may refuse an application for banking license when the Bank of Ghana is not certified with the merits of the application and looking at prevailing circumstances in the banking sector, cannot grant an application. A person whose application is refused may petition the Minister of Finance in writing within ten (10) days.


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