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Business News of Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Source: GNA

Ghana Association of Bankers to support coronavirus fight with GH¢10m

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The Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) is donating ten million Ghana cedis (GH¢10,000,000.00) towards the purchase of critical equipment for managing the Coronavirus pandemic and for the purposes of public education.

In a statement, the Association said the move is to further ensure sustainability of the industry and the economy.

The Association also announced measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the financial services sector, reaffirming commitment of members to provide without interruption, critical services including cash payments, cash withdrawals, digital banking services, and international trade facilitation.

It said Association and the Bank of Ghana, in the best interest of protecting staff, customers, and the public, would adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) under the Ministry of Health (MOH) hygiene protocols and guidelines on COVID-19.

To this end, enhanced hygiene standards are being implemented by member banks to keep their environments safe for customers and staff.

“Members of the Association are collaborating and have aligned their various Business Continuity Plans to ensure that critical banking services are readily available to customers,” the Association said in the statement.

The statement said the banks had agreed on actions, including shared services and facilities among member banks, Common access when required to each other’s Branch Networks, ATMS, and GhIPSS platform among others, in cases of distress due to the pandemic.

Besides to enhance liquidity levels, current overnight limits will be increased to provide market liquidity.

The Association said members would also adopt enhanced cash handling protocol by regularly sanitizing to safeguard public health.

In addition to the above actions and to encourage the increase use of digital channels, the Ghana Association of Bankers for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic waive Internet Banking charges, and various GhIPSS charges.

The Ghana Association of Bankers appealed to customers to use the varied digital channels provided by their respective banks and the soon to be introduced QR Code payment service.

These channels have been built to provide all the services rendered in the branch, adding that, safety measures are in place at various branches in line with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service guidelines for their protection.

“To facilitate interoperability within the financial sector, member banks will work with Mobile Money service providers during the period of this crisis to put in place measures in the interest of the general public,” the statement said.

It said the Association would continue to monitor the likely consequences of the pandemic on the banking sector and actively take steps to mitigate possible impact on customers, employees and the public.

“These measures will be reviewed after a period of three months,” the statement added.

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