You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2018 04 02Article 639507

Opinions of Monday, 2 April 2018

Columnist: Emmanuel Akrong

How did 32 banks fail to comply with financial statement publication rules?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that little/small things matter.

When I moved out of Ghana to US and Canada, one thing that I have seen separate Ghana from those two countries is that the little things matter.

Sometimes we blame other people for the state of affairs of our country, but I think 99% of our problems are self-inflicted.

If you are a bank in Ghana, make no mistake you are competing with other countries for capital and interbank dealings, an investor & treasurer will most likely chose a bank that was on time to publish its Financial Statement.

March 29, 2018 was the deadline according to subsection 2b of section 90 of the Banks and Specialized-deposit taking Institutions, Act 2016 (Act 930) for all Banks in Ghana to publish their full financial statements (FS) and not the condensed FS on their websites.

At end of the day, only 2 banks had so far done the right thing: Societe General Ghana & CalBank.

What surprises me is that the head-office of 13 foreign controlled Banks have published their group annual FS.

With this attitude, how can a bank from Ghana raise bonds outside, I do hear Nigeria Banks raising Eurobonds etc. but I have not heard of such story about banks from Ghana raise any Eurobonds.

So my questions are as follows;

1. When will banks in Ghana start doing the right thing when it comes to timely publication of FS on website?

2. Same thing happened in 2016 and I am not aware of BoG penalty on Banks, so when will Bank of Ghana start doing the right thing by applying subsection 3 of section 90 of Act 930?

3. When will Securities and Exchange Commission of Ghana and Ghana stock exchange start doing the right thing by ensuring that listed banks like Ecobank, Access, ADB, SCB, HFC and GCB publishes their full FS by deadline date?

4. Have BoG received all FS and long form reports of all banks?

5. When will some auditors in Ghana stop treating financial statements as if it is their financial statements and focus on ‘must have’ and instead of focusing on ‘Nice to have’.

Honestly, I don’t see the issue we have in Ghana, it is simple, you agree your FS notes and everything with auditors before December and auditors also audit 11 months up to December and come January, it is just the numbers.

Here in Canada, aside from other roles I play in Bank, I lead a reporting team as well, we have October year end, by November we are done with everything and December first week we then publish the FS.

Act 930

(1) A bank or specialised deposit-taking institution shall exhibit at each of its branches or agencies in a conspicuous place throughout the year, a copy of the last audited financial statement in respect of the operations of the bank or specialised deposit-taking institution.

(2) A bank or specialised deposit-taking institution shall

(a) In the case of a bank not later than three months after the end of its financial year; or

(b) In the case of a specialised deposit-taking institution not later than four months after the end of each financial year,

furnish the Bank of Ghana with a copy of its audited financial statements together with the auditor’s statutory and long-form audit reports; and cause the financial statements together with the auditors’ reports to be published on its website if any and in at least two daily newspapers of national circulation.

(3) A bank or specialized deposit-taking institution which fails to comply with this section is liable to pay to the Bank of Ghana, an administrative penalty of not more than one thousand penalty units.