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Business News of Thursday, 18 August 2005

Source: GNA

Experts Meet on Banking Act Next Week

Accra, Aug. 18, GNA - Bankers, financial experts and industry players would next week meet in Accra to deliberate on the new Banking Act (Act 673) with the view to analysing the Act and Ghana's financial sector reform.

The conference is also meant to examine the Basle Accord, which the Act seeks to introduce in the Ghanaian financial sector. The Basle Accord among other things introduces strict international best practices within the banking industry to promote ease and security in international banking.

The new principles of the Act refer to prudential rules like higher minimum paid up capital, capital adequacy of 10 per cent and a higher degree of autonomy of Bank of Ghana especially regarding the licensing of banks.

Briefing journalists in Accra on the rationale for the conference, Ms Sonja Rappold, Financial Consultant of Support Programme for Enterprise Empowerment and Development (SPEED), organizers of the programme, said the improvements required with the advent of the new Banking Act, "are expected to release more dynamism into the financial industry, increase stability and lead to a better performance for the benefit of the private sector."

She said after eight months of experiencing the new Act, the time had come to look back and assess the changes the new Act had brought for the financial institutions and the banking and financial sector as a whole. Ms Sonja said SPEED aimed at increasing the level of awareness for the requirements of the new Banking Act in the banking industry and to enhance the sharing of first hand experiences and perspectives between regulators and practitioners for the development of the industry. The Bank of Ghana would at the event explain circumstances leading to the formulation of the law, while the industry players would present a view from the international, universal and rural banking perspective. Ms Sonja mentioned subjects to be treated as "Legal Framework of the new Banking Act"; "Prudential Requirements Under the new Banking Act" and "Banking Supervision".

The Minister of Finance, Governor of the Bank of Ghana and other industry experts are billed to attend.