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Business News Tue, 13 Apr 2021

Ghana poised to be taken off EU money laundering and terrorist financing list - BoG

Head of Financial Stability at the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Joseph France has disclosed that all processes are set for Ghana to taken off the European Union’s list of money laundering and terrorist financing states.

The development comes after the European Commission in May last year placed Ghana on its ‘grey list of third-world countries’ for money laundering infractions and terrorist financing states.

Making the disclosure during a roundtable discussion organised by the UPSA Law School, Dr. Joseph France said the country is practically off the list pending a series of on-site tests scheduled to take place in May this year.

“We are partially off the list because on the part of the country we have done what we have to with the International Corporation Review Group (ICRG), that is, when you are placed in the high-risk bracket, the institution that oversees your processes and they are satisfied with us and they have in turn presented this to the FATF plenary that we are substantially off, subject to FATF coming on-site to Ghana to test our system to see if what we presented is truly a reflection of what is on the ground,” he explained.

Dr France pointed that the next step to ensure the de-listing of Ghana is sustained is an aggressive public sensitisation to minimize future risks of money laundering infractions in the financial sector.

“The biggest thing that we need to do is sensitization. People should be aware of what money laundering is all about, when to pick the red flags and what to do… Uncertainty abounds in Ghana because, unfortunately, many of us are not as financially or technologically savvy. But even if this is the case, if we are awakened to the nature of these infractions and what to look out more, it will minimise the risk of being used by launderers,” Dr France urged.

Why the EU blacklisted Ghana:

The EU Commission said on 7th May 2020 that Ghana is among 12 countries that pose “significant threats” to the EU’s financial system, due to deficiencies in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing strategy.

According to the EU, these weaknesses identified in these countries possess a serious risk to their financial system hence the action, based on recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force, the Union went ahead to put Ghana on the list.

Ghana’s Finance Ministry, later in the statement, described the action as surprising and unfortunate, especially when government claimed that they had already steps to address all the issues, identified by the financial action task force. The action came with some scrutiny for Banks in Ghana dealing with their counterparts in Europe.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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