Business News of 2014-02-05

BoG hits foreign currency account holders hard

Revised rules governing the operations of Foreign Exchange and Foreign Currency Accounts in the country have fully taken off.

According to the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the revised rules are intended to streamline the operations of foreign exchange and foreign currency accounts and bring about clarity and transparency in their operations as well as ensure compliance with the Bank of Ghana notice No. BG/GOV/SEC/2012/12.

The revision of the rules which took effect from today will see the abolishment of cheques or cheque books in foreign exchange accounts and foreign currency accounts.

Per the rules, no cheques or cheque books shall be issued on the Foreign Exchange Accounts and Foreign Currency Accounts.

According to the revised rules, cash withdrawals over the counter from foreign exchange accounts and foreign currency accounts shall only be permitted for travel purposes outside Ghana and shall not exceed US$10,000.00 or its equivalent in convertible foreign currency, per person, per travel.

Also, it shall not be permitted for the transfers from one foreign currency denominated account to another.

Meanwhile, for those who want to make foreign exchange transfers they must have supporting documentation on the transaction.

The new revised rules require all transfers outside Ghana from foreign exchange accounts and Foreign Currency Accounts to be supported by relevant documentation.

Well, for those looking to get a loan in a foreign currency they would have to halt that move as hence forth no bank will be allowed to grant a foreign currency denominated loan or foreign currency linked facility to a customer who is not a foreign exchange earner.

This also means all undrawn foreign currency denominated facilities shall be converted into local currency with the coming into effect of this notice.

However, existing fully drawn foreign currency denominated facilities and loans to non-foreign exchange earners shall run until expiry.

Authorized dealers also per the new rules will not be allowed to sell foreign exchange for the credit of Foreign Exchange Accounts and Foreign Currency Accounts of their customers.

Meanwhile, foreign exchange purchased for the settlement of import bills shall be credited to a margin account which shall be operated and managed by the bank on behalf of the importer for a period not exceeding 30 days.

Source: Citifmonline.com
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