Debt Exchange will affect banking sector confidence; let’s be careful – ISSER boss
Jan 2, 2023 8:25 PM
The Director of Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Professor Peter Quartey, has warned that the government’s debt exchange programme would lead to a lack of confidence in the banking system.
The programme launched on December 5, 2022 is intended to restructure the country’s debt which has reached unsustainable levels.
Speaking to Joy Business, Professor Quartey said the programme would lead to more people keeping their monies at home rather than at the banks.
“What is happening with the debt exchange is going to affect confidence in the banking system. In the 70s and 80s when government said those with ¢50 note should bring to the banks and there were interference with the banking system, a lot of people kept their monies at home and the banking system actually suffered. We are going back to those days”.
“Now people don’t not know where to invest their monies. I meet several people asking me now what is save to invest my money, where do I go? I think we ought to be careful with this debt exchange programme”, he explained.
Professor Quartey continued that if government is providing a stabilization fund for banks as a buffer, it should also be able to also provide the same for individual bondholders and others who will be affected by the debt exchange programme.
“The banks there is a stabilisation fund, what about the individuals, the pensioners, the poor, the many people who have bought bonds, those who have bought this unit trust and all that? What happens to them? Is there anything to mitigate the cost of adjustment, the cost of this policy? We are not told.
The renowned economist also called for a communication plan to inform investors of the status of the programme at every point in time.
“In a crisis situation, you need a crisis communication plan. If you have that plan, as soon it happens, whom do I engage, at what point, what to do? We need to deplore and have that plan and deplore as and when crises arise. Unfortunately, we have not done that”.
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