Business News of Saturday, 24 November 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Chartered Bankers Praise BoG

The Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB) has commended the Bank of Ghana (BoG), its Financial Intelligence Unit and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for working tirelessly to remove Ghana from the blacklist of countries considered to have inefficient systems for counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body, blacklisted Ghana for almost a year for failing to institute adequate measures in its financial services sector to check money-laundering and identify funding of terrorist activities.

The country’s systems were said to be inefficient and could aid money-laundering activities and terrorist financing.

The de-listing follows high-level political commitment exhibited by the country to fight money laundering and counter terrorist financing.

The CIB expressed satisfaction with the fact that the Ghanaian authorities did not rest on their oars but moved straight into action to institute the right systems, procedures and regulations that ensured Ghana’s quick exit from the group.

The Institute also commends banks and other financial institutions in the country for instituting internal controls following the Bank of Ghana regulations on money laundering.

Some banks also procured appropriate software to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

The move posed a lot of challenges to Ghanaian banks as most international financial institutions feared doing business with their peers in the country because their dealings would be frozen due to issues relating to anti-money laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorists Financing (CTF).

Some international banks that acted as correspondent banks to local ones also stopped doing business with them while others increased the cost of transaction for Ghanaian banks.

Going forward, the CIB will roll out a number of practical training programmes and workshops aimed at creating awareness and efficient adherence to KYC/CDD framework and procedures by financial institutions.

FATF will monitor the progress of the measures implemented and technologies adopted by financial institutions and there will be further inspection in 2013.

It is our hope that the systems put in place will continue to be improved so that in the long run Ghana can continue to lead the way in Africa in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, it noted.