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Uganda Banks beat capital deadline

Monday June 6, 2011

All the 23 licensed commercial banks have complied with the new Bank of Uganda (BOU) statutory requirement to raise minimum capital to sh10b by March 1, 2011.

“All banks operating in Uganda have reached the first base of sh10b,” Tumusiime Mutebile, the Central Bank governor, said last week.

The new regulation required commercial banks to raise their minimum capital to sh10b from sh4b by March 1, 2011 and sh25b by March 1, 2013.

The rise in capital requirement is a key regulatory reform in the revised Financial Institutions Act 2004 that the Bank of Uganda recommended to the finance ministry.

The amendment bill is already in Parliament.

Other key reforms include broadening the scope of permissible non-bank activities, harmonisation of regulations under the East African Community framework and addressing challenges from global integration of finance.

Mutebile announced recently that the commercial banks’ minimum capital would go up in the next five years.

However, new banks applying for a license will fork out sh25b to operate in Uganda.

The existing banks have been given two stages. They were required to upgrade capital requirements to sh10b by March 2011, and to sh25b by March 2013.

The instruments to effect the requirement were signed by the former finance minister Syda Bbumba and published in the Uganda Gazette.

Uganda has 23 commercial banks, following the lifting of the moratorium against licensing new banks in 2005.

By David Mugabe : The New Vision Newspaper

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