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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Ghana Int’l Bank Slapped With £5.8m Fine Over Mahama Era Money Laundering

London based Ghana International Bank (GHIB) has been fined a whopping £5.8 million after the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigated its anti-money laundering (AML) controls over its correspondent banking activities between 2012 and 2016, during the term of office of former President John Mahama.

The Ghana International Bank (GHIB), was set up in London by the Ghana Commercial Bank in 1959, to finance international trade and serve as an intermediary for the flow of funds to and from Ghana.

GHIB says it “accepts full responsibility for its historic failings and, under the terms of the agreement, and agreed to pay a civil penalty totaling £5,829,900.00”.

The FCA in a statement dated 23 June 2022, noted in its findings that GHIB has since taken significant steps in improving its AML systems and controls.

According to the report, “It also said that GHIB and its senior management had worked openly and cooperatively with the regulator, including by notifying the FCA of its AML shortcomings”.

“It should also be noted that no evidence was found of GHIB facilitating any money laundering or any other financial crime” GHIB said in a statement.

The statement further stated that “since the period under investigation, the bank has appointed a completely new Board, with three new independent non-executive directors, and is also under new management with a new CEO, COO, CRO, and MLRO. GHIB has also significantly strengthened its AML systems and controls, introduced an enhanced risk management framework, and increased the number of staff, particularly in key control and regulatory functions”.

The Chief Executive of GHIB, Dean Adansi, in the statement quoted as follows; “GHIB takes its compliance with anti-money laundering regulations extremely seriously and we are pleased to have come to a resolution with the FCA over these historic issues”.

“We have invested considerable resources in our risk management systems and controls, and have built up a strong team within the bank”.

“Under new leadership, GHIB is a fundamentally different bank today, with a healthy balance sheet and the support of its major shareholders, and we are looking forward to supporting our clients as the bank of choice, and trusted partner in Africa.”

Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana and Chairman of GHIB, is also quoted in the GHIB statement that; “GHIB provides critical correspondent banking services to financial institutions and corporations both within Ghana and across the region”.

“The past few years have been a transformative time for the bank, and GHIB has never been in a stronger position than it is today.

“The strategic investments that GHIB has made in its people, systems, and processes, accompanied by its recent recapitalization, will serve to underpin the critical role that the bank plays in the Ghanaian economy”.

In 1959, Ghana Commercial Bank set up a branch in the City of London: to finance international trade and serve as an intermediary for the flow of funds to and from Ghana. Ghana International Bank (GHIB) was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1998 to take on that mantle.

Authorized and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority, the bank is now owned by a consortium of major Ghanaian financial institutions, with the Central Bank of Ghana serving as the majority shareholder.

Today, GHIB focuses on six key areas: treasury and global markets, trade finance, corporate and institutional banking, retail and small business banking, correspondent banking, and payment solutions.

However, the bank’s focus remains the same – to support the economies of Ghana and the wider African continent.

– BY Daniel Bampoe

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