BoG urges Police to help identify hidden unlicensed financial institutions

Eunice Hilda Ampomah/Jennifer Quaye, GNA

Accra, Jan.15, GNA –
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Wednesday called on the Police Service to help it to
identify hidden and unlicensed financial institutions that might be operating
secretly and possibly taking advantage of vulnerable customers.

Mrs Elsie Addo
Awadzi, the Second Deputy Governor of the BoG, who made the call, said although
the BoG embarked on a clean-up of the Financial Sector, there could be some
institutions that were not identified.

She was speaking
when a delegation she led from her office organized a sensitization programme
to enlighten the Police Service on their rights and responsibilities as
consumers of financial products and services.

The programme was
also used to seek the support of the Service to restore confidence and trust in
the financial services sector.

She said the Police
played a key role in helping BoG to conduct enforcement actions against
financial institutions that violated the laws.

However, it was
necessary to reengage them after the cleanup exercise to ensure surveillance
and weed out all unlawful behaviours in the sector.

Financial services,
she explained, required the BoG license to operate, therefore it was only
prudent for the Police to report any institution it found operating without
license and taking money from the public or promising unassured loans to the
public to the BoG for appropriate measures to be taken to control their

“We also have a
different approach to deal with licensed financial institutions who defraud
customers or treat them unfairly,” she added.

Mrs Awadzi said one
key problem identified with the cleanup exercise was the misunderstanding and
loss of confidence among members of the public.

“We’ve seen too many
fingers burnt in the recent past in Ghana. We’ve seen too many people lose
money, and it’s our definite hope that, that doesn’t happen anymore. We are
doing all we can to engage key stakeholders like the Police to enforce the laws
strictly,” she noted.

As part of efforts
to reduce the risks consumers go through, she said, the BoG was conducting a
nationwide sensitization programme to educate them on their rights and
responsibilities and the available protocols within the BoG.

Mrs Awazi advised
financial institutions to respect customers and deal with them in truth and

“They tell you the
interest of the loan is just five per cent, but they don’t tell you it is five
per cent every day.”

Speaking on the
steps taken by the Law Enforcement Agencies to arrest Mr Mike Nyinaku and Mr
Prince Kofi Amoabeng, the Chief Executive Officers of the Beige Bank and UT
Bank respectively, she said the action was in line with what the authorities
might have found to be a conduct that needed thorough investigation.

“After the cleanup
exercise, we passed all relevant information to the law enforcement agencies
and we expect them to conduct their own investigations and proceed to do the
needful if they found any behavior to have had criminal implications,” she

Deputy Commissioner
of Police Frederick Adu Anim, the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander,
expressed gratitude to the BoG for recognizing the pivotal role the Service in
cleaning up the financial sector.

He pledged the
preparedness of the Service to join forces with the BoG to unveil the
operations of unlicensed financial institutions.

To sensitise a
larger number of the Police, he encouraged service members who attended the
sensitization programme to pass on knowledge acquired to all members in their
various stations.