The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison has called on financial institutions to employ sound governance practices to safeguard customers’ deposits.
He noted that the BoG would continue to strengthen its supervisory frameworks in achieving financial stability to support and contribute positively to sustainable growth.
“The Bank of Ghana remains committed to ensuring that financial institutions improve governance practices, internal controls and risk management systems,” he added.
Dr. Addison made the call in a speech read on his behalf by his Advisor, Mrs. Grace Akrofi at the eighth annual general meeting of the Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASLAC) in Accra.
The meeting which brought together bankers and economists among others was on the theme, ‘Strengthening the practice of corporate governance: The role of regulations and practice’.
Dr Addison expressed worry about how some savings and deposit institutions were not in compliance with Act 930 Regulations, Notices and Directors, the Bank of Ghana has issued.
“There are institutions that were ran by the owner, chief executives with complete disregard for internal rules and banking regulations, and singularly made decisions on credit extension as well as breaches to all the rules regarding related party transactions and connected lending,” he added.
He said one of the key building blocks for achieving sustainable economic growth and development was the delivery of effective and efficient financial intermediation by strong and sound financial sector.
Dr Addison said the BoG had committed itself to carving its supervisory functions consistent with international best practices and in line with core principles for effective supervision to enhance the legal and regulatory framework.
The Governor encouraged boards and senior management of all savings and loans companies to pursue sound corporate governance directives towards increase productivity in the sector.
The Chairman of GHASLAC, Mr Kofi Ampofo Agyapong said 3.2 million clients were recorded last year as against 2.5 million in 2016 with a total asset of more than 7.7 billion cedis in over 640 branches and agencies in the country.
He said members of the association continue to face operational challenges, which included the settlement of inward remittances in foreign currency.
The Executive Secretary of GHASLAC, Mr Tweneboah Kodua Boakye said the association was established ten years ago and currently boast of a membership of all 37 licensed savings and loans companies in the country.
He said the association which was known for the supporter of the small and medium enterprise sector of the economy managed more than 45 per cent of the total non bank- financial institutions assets through more than 1,080 business centres in the country employing about 12,000 staff directly.