Ghana's central bank announced here late Friday the withdrawal of the licenses of 386 Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) which have become bankrupt, Xinhua News Agency reported Friday. The action which marks the beginning of the second phase of Bank of Ghana's financial sector clean-up affected 347 micro-finance companies and 39 micro-credit companies.

The revocation of the licenses of these institutions, the bank explained in a statement, was to "get rid of insolvent and dormant institutions that have no reasonable prospects of rehabilitation." "They have denied depositors access to their deposits, thereby constituting a threat to the stability of the financial system," the bank said. Governor of Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, told the media on Monday that the bank had secured nearly a billion Ghana cedis (US$185.6 million) needed for the measures. "By the revocation of these licenses, we seek to protect the stability of the financial system and to protect affected depositors," the bank added. As part of the exercise, the central bank has appointed Receivers who will see to the smooth folding up of these companies.

Furthermore, the bank said it has made adequate funds available to the receivers to pay off depositors. The emergence and rapid growth of micro-finance operations in Ghana led to the introduction of a licensing regime for the industry in 2011. "Going forward, Bank of Ghana has put in place measures to ensure that the existing institutions remain safe and sound by complying with relevant prudential norms," the statement said.

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