Meet Alfred Eggleston, the first Bank of Ghana Governor

Alfred Eggleston1212 Alfred Eggleston first Managing Director, Bank of the Gold Coast and BoG Governor

Thu, 26 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

GhanaWeb Feature

With just two days ahead of Ghana’s declaration of political independence, the Bank of Ghana was on March 4, 1957 established by the Bank of Ghana Ordinance (No. 34) of 1957.

This was a law passed by the then British Parliament.

Prior to the establishment of the bank, the financial regulator traced its roots to the Bank of the Gold Coast (BGC) where it all began.

The BGC mainly served the needs of a private British bank known as the Royal Mint, which used to import and issue Ghana’s currency in the then Gold Coast era.

GhanaWeb Business in this article takes a look at the first governor of the BGC which later became known as the Bank of Ghana.

Alfred Eggleston was the first Managing Director for Bank of the Gold Coast in 1953. He worked alongside with the then Chairman of the first Board of Director of the bank, Sir Leslie M’Carthy.

Other directors of the BGC Board were; H. Millar-Craig, J.A. Opoku OBE, J. Sarkodee-Adoo, Anim Addo and Prof. J. W. Williams.

Alfred Eggleston was an accomplished Scottish banker who was on secondment from the Imperial Bank of India.

During his tenure as governor from August 1, 1957 to April 3 1959, he was assisted by his deputy, Douglas F. Stone who was another renowned British central banker also on secondment from the Bank of England.

The general administration of the bank was entrusted to the hands of a seven-member board of directors who operated under the chairmanship of the governor.

Under the British colonial government, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and his deputy were appointed by the Governor of Gold Coast on recommendation from the Prime Minister.

They were to serve for a term of five and eligible for reappointment in accordance with Section 10(1) of the 1957 Ordinance.

The Board of Directors of the Bank were however appointed by the Prime Minister with approval of Governor of the then Gold Coast. They were to serve a term of three years which was subject to renewal.

Meanwhile, the first Board of Directors for the Bank of Ghana were; Alfred Eggleston, Chairman; Douglas F. Stone, Deputy Governor; S. Blay, Director; Dr. N. T. Clerk, Director; E. Osei, Director; C. Parkin, Director.

How the Bank of Ghana was formed

While the nation was on the cusp of gaining independence, economists and political actors in the Gold Coast era began to bore the idea of establishing a national bank in the mid-1950s.

These politicians and economists felt the setting up of such an institution would give true meaning to Ghana’s social and political independence after many years under British rule.

Prior to these calls, other leading politicians in the Gold Coast had called for the setting up of a national bank in 1947. They believed such a bank needed to operate with functions to that of a central bank and act as a banker to the government while helping in addressing the needs of the local economy.

In 1955, the government adopted a Select Committee which accepted the proposal for the establishment of a central bank.

The Committee was also tasked to look into a document dubbed; Trevor Report in a bid to prepare the grounds for the setting up of the central bank.

At the time of this process, the Bank of the Gold Coast (BGC) had set the stage for activities related to central banking. All that was needed was for the Select Committee to commence training of personnel in the area of central banking and suitable accommodation in order to start operations.

A year before Ghana gained independence in 1956, the required personnel had been trained, necessary documents signed and all was ready for the establishment of the Bank of Ghana.

In 1957, the Bank of Ghana was now formed with the general administration of the bank entrusted in the hands of a seven-member board of directors under the chairmanship of the governor.

The Bank of Ghana is currently located on the Accra High Street adjacent the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. The area currently houses both BoG and the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).

Author: Mawuli Ahorlumegah

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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