Economy On Path Of Progress – BoG Governor

Dr. Ernest Addison


Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, says the economy continues to be on a path of progress and therefore expects that the dis-inflation process, which has already begun, would be sustained.

According to him, the Bank of Ghana was also fully committed to remaining vigilant in its oversight operations of all financial institutions in Ghana, to make this happen.

Dr. Addison, who made these remarks during the name change dinner gala of FBNBank Ghana Limited in Accra recently, said notwithstanding this, banks have continued to breach guidelines that have been set to ensure that the banking system remained safe and sound, and free from all facets of financial crime including money laundering, fraud, terrorist financing, corruption, market manipulation, insider dealings and cybercrime.

“In recent times, the Bank of Ghana had had to apply sanctions and penalties on a few banks because of such breaches. Let me note that, to protect depositors, while ensuring the stability and soundness of the banking system, the Bank of Ghana will continue to be vigilant to ensure that banks comply with regulatory requirements and guidelines to build trust and confidence in our financial institutions,” he noted.

He continued that the banking sector operations and services were rapidly evolving, driven by financial technology advances.

“The emergence of fintechs in the financial ecosystem, and their delivery of innovative financial products and services, has rejuvenated the adoption and diffusion of technology in every sphere of banking sector operations, which have supported the financial inclusion agenda.

Let me use this opportunity to congratulate FirstBank for the work that it is doing in this area. The latest data on the float balances with the banks showed that FirstBank placed 6th out of 23 banks in their share of balances held on mobile wallets, supporting various types of transactions, utility payments, school fees payments, insurance products, and their P-to-B and P-to-P payments.

I would therefore encourage the bank to strengthen its systems and operations to continuously churn out innovative electronic-driven services and tailor-made products that cover the needs of the unbanked population.”

“Furthermore, I would like to encourage FirstBank to leverage on the Environmental, Social and Governance frameworks to attract green funding to support their lending activities.

For example, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has allocated US$1.26 billion for climate action in emerging countries. To access this and other similar funds, I would encourage FirstBank to seek accreditation status by the GCF.

“Recently, the Bank of Ghana has issued two exposure drafts on the Outsourcing Directive and a Supervisory Framework on Business Model Analysis. The guidelines aim to streamline outsourced products and services of banks as well as manage risks inherent in outsourcing banking activities and ensuring the viability and sustainability of the business models of banks, respectively,” he emphasized.

FirstBank, formerly International Commercial Bank (ICB), commenced operations in Ghana in November 1996. This followed the acquisition of 100% equity stake by First Bank of Nigeria Limited in 2013 in the West Africa Operations of ICB. On BOG’s approval, the bank changed from ICB to FBNBank (Ghana) Limited and currently has twenty-two networked branches and two agencies across Ghana. After 11 years, the bank is taking yet another bold step forward to rebrand as FirstBank Ghana.

By Samuel Boadi