Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance on Monday said that funds have been released to three participating Banks to commence the pilot phase of the Housing and Mortgage Finance Scheme.
The participating banks include; GCB Bank Limited, Stanbic Bank, and Republic Bank.
He said the Scheme is under the National Housing and Mortgage Scheme (NHMS), which is also collaborating with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to build a pipeline of potential home owners to participate in the scheme.
Mr Ofori-Atta stated in the presentation of the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy & Supplementary Estimates in Parliament in Accra.
He said the government had started the National Housing and Mortgage Finance Initiative, with the objective of – “Decent Homes, Better Life”.
He said the initiative was is to provide quality housing to all citizens starting with public and civil servants. Two of the schemes under this Initiative: National Housing and Mortgage Scheme (NHMS) and Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have commenced.
Mr Ofori-Atta said government was also intervening in the housing market through Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to serve as a vehicle for rent-to-own schemes.
“The intention is for the REITs to buy property and lease to public sector workers over an extended time and sell at predetermined values.
“The rental payments will count as equity; this will help new entrants into the workforce own property without the initial huge down payment. Work on the REITs has started in earnest with GCB Securities, a subsidiary of GCB Bank,” he said.
On Insurance Industry Developments, the Finance Minister stated that the National Insurance Commission (NIC) had announced new minimum capital requirements for the insurance industry to address the challenge of low capitalisation.
“The new minimum capital requirements are as follows: Life and Non-Life Insurers: from GH¢15 million to GH¢50 million; Brokers and Loss Adjustors: from GH¢300,000 to GH¢500,000; Reinsurance Brokers: maintained at GH¢1 million; and Reinsurers: from GH¢40 million to GH¢125 million.
He noted that the new minimum capital would apply immediately to newly licensed companies and existing insurance companies would have up to June 2021 to meet the new minimum capital requirements.