Dr Ernest Addison, BoG Governor
THE BANK of Ghana (BoG) has introduced a new directive on unclaimed balances and dormant bank accounts.
According to the central bank, “This Directive shall be cited as the Unclaimed Balances and Dormant Accounts Directive, 2021.”
BoG said the directive was issued pursuant to Section 92 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit- Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930). It stated that the directive was applicable to banks, rural and community banks, savings and loans companies, finance houses and microfinance institutions.
Also, the BoG indicated that the directive was applicable to any other deposit-taking institution as may be determined by the Bank of Ghana.
In this directive, the bank said, unless the context otherwise required “dormant account register,” means a separate register created in the books of the regulated financial institution to maintain and manage dormant accounts.
“Regulated financial institution” means a bank, savings and loans company, rural and community bank, microfinance institution and finance house company regulated under the Banks and Specialized Deposit- Taking Institution Act, 2016 (Act 930) and any other deposit-taking institutions as may be determined by the Bank of Ghana,” it noted.
“Unclaimed funds” are balances on dormant accounts specified in Paragraph seven and eight of this directive that are due for transfer to the BoG.
According to BoG, the directive shall not be applicable to accounts that are; subjects of litigation, subjects of fraud investigations by a regulatory authority or law enforcement agencies, subjects of any encumbrance including but not limited to liens and collaterals, in credit due to errors including system errors and are under investigation for correction.
The directive comes on the back of some payments made into dormant accounts by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) during the distributions of the Coronavirus funds for small businesses.
By Melvin Tarlue