The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has extended the date for the submission of 2020 audited financial statements of listed banks.
The Exchange said in a release that this is due to a request made by the listed banks through the Ghana Association of Bankers for an extension by one month to April 30, 2021, to enable them to work effectively with their external auditors to achieve the audit objectives.
The Association has indicated that the advent of COVID-19 has resulted in a 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,” the Association informed the Exchange.
“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.
The Banks that are able to conclude their audit in time, in spite of the negative impact of the pandemic, have been encouraged to publish within the existing statutory timeline.