Why banks could release FY2020 financial results one month late

The Banks listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) have through the Ghana Association of Bankers requested that the date for filing of 2020 audited financial statements be extended by one month to April 30, 2021 to enable them work effectively with their external auditors to achieve the audit objectives.

The Association has indicated that the advent of COVID-19 has resulted in significant impact on human resource allocation in most banks. This has been exacerbated by the recent spike in infection rate in the country. Results from initial assessment in the banking industry point to signals that some banks are unable to keep sufficient staff members at post to assist with the audit of the 2020 financial statements resulting in significant delays in some instances.

While the banking industry has resolved to ensure that stricter safety protocols are implemented across all channels of service delivery, the conduct of banking requires that, in isolated circumstances, contact with customers, service providers and other stakeholders is inevitable with its attendant potential high risk of getting infected with the virus.

The Association reiterated that discussions with some key external auditors who have expressed similar sentiments in the impact COVID-19 is having on human resource allocation to audit assignments in spite of all the digital interventions that have been introduced to ameliorate its negative effect. It is against this background that the date for filing of 2020 audited financial statements is extended by one month to April 30, 2021. The Banks that are able to conclude their audit in time, in spite of the negative impact of the pandemic, are encouraged to publish within the existing statutory timeline.

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