The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has called on Rural and Community Banks across the country to ensure strict compliance and effective monitoring of all bank transactions to curb criminal activities.
Mr George Nkrumah, Head of Financial Integrity at the Bank of Ghana made this known at a sensitization workshop for Rural and Community Banks and some microfinance institutions in the Western and Central Regions of Ghana.
The move, according to the Bank of Ghana, is to ensure that criminals do not use the rural and community banks as conduits to perpetuate or facilitate illicit financial trade.
The Head of Financial Integrity at the Bank of Ghana noted that the continuous use of processes of effective transaction monitoring, would flag and report transactions that are unusual and suspicious. He added that it will also help to prevent criminals from using them as a conduit for money laundering and terrorist financing.
Mr Nkrumah opined that the need for due diligence has become critical to improving financial intelligence, enhancing collaboration, and ultimately sanitizing the financial environment.
The Financial Integrity Head revealed that the Bank of Ghana is making inroads through the engagement of such smaller institutions to support the expansion of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing risks assessment methodology.
BoG to Educate Banks on goAML
Mr Nkrumah further disclosed that the Bank of Ghana would register such banks on the “GoAML” application platform. The goAML application, he explained, is a fully integrated software solution developed specifically for use by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and is one of UNODC’s strategic responses to financial crime, including money-laundering and terrorist financing. Such reports and other information gathered by FIUs often provide the basis for investigations into money laundering, terrorist financing and other serious offences.
Mr Nkrumah asserted that Ghana over the years, has been compliant with the technical requirements, with emphasis on supervisory and preventive measures.
Ghana, he stated, needed a strong and viable financial systems, and “it was imperative to abide by high standards in the sector to achieve the sustainable regime required for financial stability.”
Mr Nkrumah indicated that participants would, therefore, be introduced to Key aspects of Continuous Due Diligence, Population and Submission of Data Capture Returns, Self-assessment questionnaire, “GoAML” architecture, 2020 fraud report, and compliance with the BoG Dormant Account Directive.
The workshop, according to the Bank of Ghana, is aimed at providing these financial institutions with the necessary technicalities on how to detect and combat potential money laundering operations. On how to combat these frauds, insights and procedural solutions were provided by the bank.
It can be recalled that the Central bank earlier in the year indicated that due to the high frequency of money laundering and related activities at microfinance institutions (MFIs), the Central Bank is taking steps to offer special skill training for these smaller banks.
Dr. Joseph France, the Head of the Bank of Ghana’s Financial Stability Department, highlighted the inadequacy of skills and necessary knowledge required to fight these persistent crimes among these financial institutions.