The Bank of Ghana (BoG) is poised to weed out a lot of inefficiencies in the banking sector in a bid to enrich and encourage the banking culture in Ghana, and one of the measures that it is taking is the fastidious sanctioning of banks over cheque processing bottlenecks.
According to the central bank, the clearance of cheque ought not to take more than one day to happen, encouraging the banking public to report unpalatable situations where cheques issued are not cleared after 24 hours.
The department of the BoG to be complained to on such issues is the Market Conduct Department.
It is not clear what sanctions await banks who fall foul of such prohibitions by the BoG, but the revelations that the BoG is interested in putting banks on their toes over issues of long pendency of the clearance of cheques was made at a training workshop for journalists in Takoradi, the Western Regional capital.
Dr. Kwasi Osei-Yeboah of the department told journalists that a widespread of the practice in which people who wish to clear cheques with banks are compelled to wait for as long as a week is not permissible under BoG regulations.
He therefore encouraged the general public to report such experiences to the BoG for action.
Another thing that the BoG is working to counter is the bamboozlement of borrowers and depositors due to the lack of ready information on bank charges. Unavailability of such information has created room for banks to apply heavy risk premiums on base rates.
To fight this, he said the BoG is in the process of putting up a platform on which charges by all banks can be easily accessed by the general public.
He said, at the moment, the situation is that templates on bank charges are scattered all over and it is not healthy for the banking public.
He also said, Non Performing Loans (NPLs) are a major reason that banks collapse or go into distress and to end this the BoG is currently consulting with stakeholders with the intent of coming up with a strategy to ensure that NPLs stop occurring among the banks.
The BoG recently increased the capitalization requirement to set up and operate a bank in Ghana, moving it from Ghc120million to Ghc400million because there is the need for banks to have strong bases.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Stan Adotey