‘Establish Financial Authority to reguilate financial market’

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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben North, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, has called for the

establishment of a Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Financial Ombudsman to regulate the financial market in the country.

He explained that the FSA, aimed at promoting an efficient, orderly and fair financial market to help retail financial service consumers get a fair deal.

In a statement on the floor of Parliament, the MP said the Financial Ombudsman’s main task would be to settle individual complaints between consumers and the businesses providing financial services such as insurance, mortgages, investments, pensions, stocks, bonds and money transfer.

“The Financial Ombudsman is independent and impartial and although its findings do not prevent one from going to court, in most instances, the parties accept its jurisdiction,” he said.

He said his request would necessitate the introduction of a bill to Parliament to establish the two authorities.

Quoting a letter he sent to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and copied to the President, Mr Owusu-Agyeman noted that the Bank of Ghana lacked the authority and the capacity to ‘chaperone’ the interests of the ordinary Ghanaian or businessman.

He stated that what was required, therefore, was a fresh look at the banking sector in order to put in place regulatory mechanisms that would enforce equity and fairness.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman opined that with the present modus operandi of the Monetary Committee, the Bank of Ghana would have no moral authority to play the role of an unbiased, fair and firm regulator in the best interests of the people.

He stated that recent global financial situations had underlined the need for an effective regulatory mechanism and also to ensure an effective regulatory voice for the voiceless.

In another development, the Second Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Professor Mike Oquaye, has expressed concern about the encroachment on lands belonging to the Achimota School in Accra.

“Madam Speaker, one most disturbing news in Ghana today, is what some Ghanaians are doing to a vital national heritage – Achimota School”, he said.

In a statement in Parliament, he said following the publication on Friday January 29 in the Daily Graphic, he visited the school out of national concern.

He said he had learnt that the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) had asked for the closure of the school as the sewerage system had collapsed due to the activities of encroachers who were building on the land in that part of the school, where the entire sewerage system had been channelled.

“People are building unlawfully on the main channels, causing the system to collapse,” he noted, and called on Ghanaians who cared to visit the school to see the broken main lines, gushing of human excreta and liquid waste plus foul stench which engulf the hemisphere”.

He stated that in the late 1980’s, the Board of the School made the tragic mistake of attempting to sell a portion of the school’s land to certain individuals, adding that the board had no legal right to sell Achimota School lands which were by law vested in the Head of State of Ghana.

The Speaker referred the matter to the Ministry of Education for the appropriate action to save the school from the encroachers.