Posted: Wednesday 21st May 2014 at 11:06 am

BoG urges banks to ensure ‘clean notes’


The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has urged universal banks to re-tool themselves under the “Clean Note” policy, to be able to sort and authenticate bank notes that come into their fold before the notes are re-circulated or deposited with the BoG

The “Clean Note” policy seeks to ensure that only good quality banknotes remain in circulation.

“In line with current global practice and within the context of cost and risk implications, the Bank of Ghana has adopted a new re-circulation policy that seeks to devolve currency processing gradually to the universal banks. Under the new re-circulation policy, banks are expected to re-tool to be able to undertake fitness-sorting and authenticate banknotes for re-circulation and deposit with the BoG,” said Jarvis Frank Tsodemeku, Head of Agency Operations — Currency Management Department of the BoG, at a cash-handling and security workshop in Accra.

The workshop was organised by e-Crime Bureau, a cyber-security consulting firm, and the B&FT.

Mr. Tsodemeku said by its own nature and attributes, cash is exposed to physical deterioration and theft, and as well can induce fraudulent behavior — saying this results in financial losses not only to the state but to businesses and individuals.

“Cash is also subject to counterfeiting and money laundering. Counterfeiting at very high levels can compromise the integrity of a national currency and destabilise the economy. Money laundering, on the other hand, with its links to terrorists funding can destabilise cross-border systems and markets with dire political consequences.”

Albert Antwi-Bosiako, Founder and Principal Consultant of e-Crime Bureau, said the need to protect cash from insider fraud, theft or robbery attacks — either through internal and external means — has become as important as pursuit of the cash itself.

He said cash leakages significantly contribute to financial losses for businesses — both in the financial services and retail sectors.

Businesses, he said, must engage with industry players and other stakeholders to ensure efficient cash-handling, cash management and cash-in-transit processes and practices which reduce potential losses in profit and reputational damages.

“Ghana is classified among countries, especially in Africa, where cash still dominates business transactions. Thus, our country is predominantly a cash-economy — even though we are witnessing the emergence of cashless products and services, especially across the financial service sector.

“It is evident that in recent times there has been a shift toward electronic payment methods due to the rise of mobile and Internet banking services across the business sector. However, cash as a payment method still dominates business transactions in the country.”

This, he said, has exposed businesses to different kinds of risks associated with cash-handling: including internal breaches, cash management lapses, fraud, robbery attacks and security issues relative to cash-in-transit.

“We have put together this training to help address some of these challenges, so that businesses can minimise their losses to cash-handling,” he added.

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