By Edrissa Jallow
The Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) led by Governor Mr Buah Saidy presented its 2020 annual report before Parliament’s Finance and Public Account Committee (FPAC) on Monday 17th June 2022 disclosing that, the CBG’s total assets increased by 15.6% (D58.8 billion) at the end of December 2020.
According to the Governor, the financial sector is still fundamentally sound with a high level of capital, liquidity, and profitability. “The total assets of the banks expanded by 15.6 per cent to D58.8 billion as at end-December 2020 from 50.9 billion a year ago,” revealed Governor Buah Saidy during his submission to Parliaments FPAC.
Governor Buah Saidy detailed that the liquid asset ratio for the industry stood at 93.5% as of end-December 2020 compared to 91.6% as at end of December 2019. Meanwhile, “the risk-weighted capital adequacy ratio of the industry stood at 32.6 per cent at end-December 2020 compared to 31.4 per cent as of December 2019”. The Governor added that all the banks were above the minimum requirement of 10 per cent.
The non-performing loan ratio by the end of December 2020 stood at 6.8% compared to 4.6% at the end-December 2019, an Increase attributed to the consequences of the Pandemic said Mr Saidy.
According to the governor, the Gambian economy remains resilient in an environment of heightened uncertainties. However, “recent forecast by my staff (CBG) indicates that the recovery that started in 2021, will be stronger this year with a projected real GDP growth of 4.7 per cent. Risks to this outlook, however, are significant and uncertain, including the protracted conflict in Ukraine, the COVID-19 situation globally, and the effect of weather conditions on agricultural production.”
Speaking on the Insurance Industry Governor Saidy highlights that the industry is still relatively small “composed of 11 insurance Companies and nine insurance brokerage firms operating as at end- December 2020”. However, “it continues to play a crucial role in the economy.”
FPAC Vice-Chairperson Hon. Alhagie Mbowe applauded the Governor and staff for submitting their report in time. However, he instructed CBG Governors to submit the institution’s latest strategic plan and more details on the Central Bank IT Security.