BOG ACCUSED OF BREACH OF TRUST
By John Bediako
The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has come under attack for imposing a six-month sanction against Access Bank Ghana Limited. The attack from the bank’s customers and workers who want to remain anonymous, believed that if the central bank’s supervision department had been active it would have detected the anomaly but that was not the case.
The Bank of Ghana about a month ago sanctioned Access Bank Ghana Limited, which it claimed was engaged in various irregularities in the conduct of foreign exchange transfers.
Speaking to the media on Monday, a cross section of the customers who have adopted a wait and see approach to the issue are of the view that it is not late for the Bank of Ghana to relax the sanction, so as to regain confidence in banking in the country.
According to the customers of the bank, with 32 branches and agencies across the country, their information is that the new leadership of the bank, upon assumption of office reportedly detected the irregularity and informed the Bank of Ghana for advice, only to be slapped with the sanction.
The action, according to the clients, amounts to a breach of trust on the part of Bank of Ghana, since officials of Access Bank acted in good faith.
The best to come from the Central Bank, they said, should have been to advise them on previous transactions and allow time to correct the mistakes. Bank of Ghana, they contended, must enforce its supervisory role otherwise the confidence in banking business in the country is going to erode.
The workers on their part are simply throwing their arms in despair. According to them, they welcome an investigation into the issue and effect sanctions where applicable, especially when the bank has taken the initiative to punish some of the workers it suspected had a hand in the illegal transfers.
They went on to say that for anything short of that would mean the central bank’s action is aimed at collapsing Access Bank, for there would be eventual layoffs of workers.
The state, the workers said, stand to lose by way of payment of revenue if the current restriction continues and opted for fines as is normally the case instead of sanction. They also said that the Bank of Ghana will have to act swiftly in order to re-assure the banking community in Ghana of a friendly business atmosphere. Both managements of Bank of Ghana and Access Bank were tight lipped when reached for comments.
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