The Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana (CIB) in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Ghana Association of Bankers (GBA) has launched the Ghana Banking Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, to maintain best banking practices to uphold the banking profession.
This Banking Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is in accordance with Section 3 (d) of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Ghana Act, 2019 (Act 991) and reinforces the Institute’s mandate of setting standards and ensuring the observance of ethical standards and professional conduct amongst members of the banking profession in the country.
President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Patricia Sappor speaking at the official launch of the Ghana Banking Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, intimated that “the launch of this Code is a timely and relevant milestone in the banking industry as it will serve as the bedrock and a guide to all practitioners to maintain best banking practices and strong commitment to sound ethical and professional standards in the banking industry.
“This will ensure that Chartered Bankers continue to play critical roles in the banking industry and distinguish themselves on account of the significant contributions they make to the profession of banking as it is the only qualification customized to the core practice of banking,” she added.
Patricia Sappor further cautioned employees within the financial sector to adhere to all the rules laid down in the new code and all who fail to conduct their duties fairly, honestly and with integrity will be dealt severely by the law as the entire banking community risks losing confidence amongst customers and the general public.
“The Code reinforces provisions made under Sections 18 (2) (d), 24 (1) (a) and the Third Schedule of Act 991. Thus, ensuring that all Financial Institution employees conduct their duties fairly, honestly and with integrity so as to uphold the mutual trust and public confidence bestowed upon them. The effective implementation of the Code will foster high level of integrity, discipline and etiquette in the banks leading to improved confidence amongst customers and the general public,” she remarked.
She further asserted that this forms part of efforts to reduce the number of fraud cases perpetrated by employees within the banking industry.
Recounting on the 2019 Banking Industry Fraud Report released by the Bank of Ghana, she said out of the total number of 2,295 fraud cases reported in 2019, suppression of cash and deposits accounted for the largest portion, that is 77 percent, with staff of the financial institutions being the lead perpetrators of that type of fraud.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison sharing his thoughts opined that the supervision of banks has been strengthened with systems and structures to identify, assess and proactively mitigate or manage vulnerabilities and threats to stability. Additionally, the financial sector will require constant regulatory and policy attention to mitigate the risks.
The Bank of Ghana is putting greater focus on identifying the early warning signals and initiating prompt corrective action. “The symptoms of a weaker bank are usually poor asset quality, lack of profitability, loss of capital, excessive leverage, excessive risk exposure, poor conduct and liquidity concerns,” Dr. Addison added.
Going further he encouraged banks to be vigilant and upgrade their capabilities, improve governance and risk culture and “we are optimistic that with this approach, we will build a robust, resilient and capable financial sector to support Ghana’s beyond Aid Agenda”.
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