The clean-up of the financial sector, particularly the banking and securities industry, took a significant toll on the growth rate of the financial services industry despite significant gains made by banks in the third quarter of 2019.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service’s third quarter Gross Domestic Product release, the Finance and Insurance sub-sector grew by 1.1 percent year-on-year at the end of September 2019.
It also recorded the least growth rate of 0.2 percent together with Professional, Administration & Support Services and Other Services Activities sub-sectors only in quarter three (July – August) 2019.
However, the services sector registered a growth rate of 5.7 percent, far higher than the Finance and Insurance sub-sector.
The size of the Finance and Insurance sub-sector stood at about GHS1.49 billion at the end of September 2019, relatively the same as the same period last year, but lower than GHS1.74 billion recorded in the first half of 2019.
Its share of the services sector was 10.1percent in the third quarter of 2019, down 1.0 percent from June 2019.
In the first quarter of this year, the Finance and Insurance sub-sectors recorded a year-on-year GDP of 2.1 per cent.
But in the second quarter of 2019, it recorded a year-on-year growth rate of 1.4 percent. Hitherto, the sector was recording very high growth rates.
The slow growth in the financial services sub-sector raises arguments regarding whether the huge profits quoted by some banks and insurance firms are not cooked or artificial.
This is based on the premise that some failed banks were quoting high profits on their books.
According to the GSS, Information & Communication (26.6%); Real Estate (22.1%); Education (9.5%) and Public Administration & Defence, Social Security (6.1%) recorded growth rates higher than the national average of 5.6%