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Business News Tue, 18 Aug 2015

Finance Houses announce umbrella-body

Finance houses in the country have announced an umbrella-body that seeks to promote the welfare of the over twenty finance houses licenced by the Bank of Ghana.

According to Mrs. Felicity Acquah, Executive Secretary of the Association of Finance Houses, the main rationale “is for us to be a self-regulatory body that will be build a code of ethics, corporate governance principles, and business practices that will enforce the image of finance houses”.

Mrs. Acquah, speaking to B&FT on the sidelines of the Association’s first General Council Meeting last week, said the organisation has become particularly important after the central bank reviewed its regulations to give more recognition to the role played by finance houses.

“Previously, what the Bank of Ghana had was the non-bank finance institutions which included discount houses, savings and loans, forex institutions and a whole range of other financial institutions. The bank re-categorised the licence of savings and loans, rural banks and finance houses etc. It even brought in microfinance institutions among others.

“Following this move by the central bank, we have come together to have an opportunity to guard our reputation and eventually have a code of ethics to guide our operations and members,” she said.

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With the regulator, Bank of Ghana, overseeing operations of finance houses, Mrs. Acquah said the association will exist to engage with the central bank when new laws and regulations are being formulated for the sector.

“Now that we have licenced finance houses coming together as an association, just as the central bank requires, when there are new laws coming up they know the group to deal with; they will have to confer with the association to see whether the laws they are coming up with will sit well with members of the group. Our member will have an opportunity to discuss the rules and also be in tune with the central bank,” Mrs Acquah added.

AFI’s Executive Secretary said the first General Council Meeting served as an opportunity for the members to adopt its constitution, as well as plan its activities for the remainder of the year.

Speaking at the association’s meeting, its President Mr. Oko-NikoiDzani said: “The Association will be expected to institute self-regulatory policies and guidelines among members aimed at growth and stability, and also to ensure full compliance with Regulatory guidelines as shall be directed by the central bank from time to time”.

The platform will promote networking among member institutions within Ghana, which should be stretched into West Africa and beyond, he added.

Source: B&FT
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