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Business News of Monday, 21 June 2021


BoG’s directive on abolishing unfair charges will make banking sector transparent - Consultant

Dr Richmond Atuahene is a banking consultant Dr Richmond Atuahene is a banking consultant

Dr. Atuahene has described BoG’s directive on banks scrapping unfair fees as appropriate

He believes some charges are exploited

He also called on the BoG to come up with regulations that shield customers from exploitation

Banking Consultant, Dr Richmond Atuahene, has described the Bank of Ghana’s move directing banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions to scrap unfair fees as apt.

He believes some banks have over the period taken undue advantage of customers.

Speaking to Joy Business, Mr Atuahene said such a step is necessary to rain transparency in the banking industry.

“What Bank of Ghana has done seriously is to improve transparency, a high disclosure in the industry. What has been happening over the last two decades was that unnecessary fees were being levied on customers and these were actually inhibiting customer business. It was actually not encouraging people to save or in other words encourage financial inclusion.

I believe that this would now bring to the industry high transparency and openness so that customers would know how much he/she is paying; otherwise, customers have been taken for granted over a long time. What we term ‘treat customers fairly', I think Bank of Ghana is now introducing the core principle of treating customers fairly by actually ensuring that the banks charge reasonable fees for the work done,” he told Joy Business.

The banking consult added that the BoG directive creates a level of awareness among customers.

“Ideally, before any facility is set up or before any customer is given even a digital platform, you need to do a disclosure. Unfortunately, some banks are not doing it. I mean I know a customer who is on a certain platform – this VISA platform whether you use the digital system or not, every month they will charge you GH¢10. And I’m saying that if you’re going to levy GH¢10 every week over a period where the customer has not even used the facility, what does it mean?” he explained.

Dr Atuahene further called on the central bank to come up with other regulations that will make information in the banking sector more transparent.

“So what Bank of Ghana is trying to do is that there should be more disclosure, information transparency as well as help customers to understand banking practices and norms,” he stated.

The BoG has directed banks, SDIs to abolish unfair fees, charges, others. This is in line with its mandate to deal with unlawful or improper practices of banks and SDIs under Section 3 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).