Business News of Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Asuom (E/R), Nov. 25, GNA - Mr Richard Mettle Addo, Head of Research Marketing and Corporate Affairs Department of the ARB Apex Bank, has said the banking industry was undergoing rapid technological transformation in the form of electronic banking driven by the Bank of Ghana, designed to improve operational efficiency.
Speaking at the 24th annual general meeting of Shareholders of Kwaebibirem Rural Bank at Asuom, he mentioned Electronic Financial Analysis and Surveillance System (EFASS), Cheques Code-line Clearing (CCC) and Automated Clearing House (ACH) and E-Zwich.
On EFASS, Mr Addo said it would make it possible for banks to file their prudential returns on-line, which would enable the Bank of Ghana to carry out most of its supervisory duties on-line in order to promote and maintain the integrity of the banking industry.
He said it was therefore mandatory for rural banks to computerize their operations and in that direction, rural and community banks desirous of opening new agencies were now required to first automate their processes. In that respect, the Bank of Ghana had tasked all financial institutions to religiously implement the "know your customer" rules. Mr Addo urged the bank to be vigilant in its operations in order to prevent unscrupulous persons from using the bank to engage in fraudulent activities.
On the CCC, Mr Addo explained that it was an electronic based clearing system, which would replace the existing manual system of clearing cheques where representatives of banks would meet to exchange cheques physically at the clearing house every day.
Under the CCC, cheques were scanned and images transmitted electronically to the clearing house with a clearing cycle of one day and that all clearing zones in Ghana would be merged into one for effectiveness. He said the ACH would be used to handle both electronic credit and debit items without images, for example, instructions from an organization to transfer salaries to its employees.
Mr Addo said there was the need for rural banks to review their budgets to accommodate that project in view of the cost implications involved. He said in the light of the complex and rapidly changing environment, rural banks would be expected to enhance their operational efficiency and risk management to enable them to operate effectively in the dynamic banking industry. 25 Nov. 09