Reverend Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has said for any economy to grow and develop, savings and investment are key.
Reverend Ogbarmey Tetteh noted that the ability of individuals and households to save and invest is a key driver of the economy.
Reverend Tetteh made these revelations in an interaction with officers of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
The SEC, acting within its mandate of protecting investors and the integrity of the securities market, organised the training programme for these security officers.
Reverend Tetteh posited that capital raised from saving and investment is used to drive economic activities in the country.
The Director-General using statistics from the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) to explain his point, noted that Consumer Finance Companies (CFC) data indicated that local investors have about 32 per cent, while foreign investors have about 68 per cent in terms of share of value of investment on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
Reverend Tetteh stated that a look at the recent number that has been pulled out from the population census, clearly shows that there is a gap when it comes to savings and investment.
“If you come to our area and look at the collective investment schemes that is the mutual plans and unitrust, again you find that the number of people who have subscribed is under a million.”Reverend Ogbarmey Tetteh
However, the Director-General observed that fraudulent activities in the investment sectors are also to blame for the low investment interest among Ghanaians. He bemoaned the high amount of resources the state had to use to clean up the sector because of mismanagement in the sector.
“If we take our minds to the recent clean up that has taken place in the financial sector, it is clear that unprofessional, fraudulent and incompetent behavior on the part of market operators can be expensive.
“Government has paid in claims a significant amount of 4.3 billion in the bailout and that’s only one half away. So, it was an expensive issue when people do not listen to their caution either because they were greedy, incomplete or they were just not at the right place.”Reverend Ogbarmey Tetteh
SEC to Punish those who Flout Regulations
The SEC Director called for stiffer sanctions to people who are found guilty to safeguard the financial sector.
“We believe that it is time to send the right signals that, that behaviour can and will be punishable. Because we need to elicit more confidence in the industry and that is why the session with the law enforcement agencies is critical.”Reverend Ogbarmey Tetteh
Rev Ogbarmey concluded saying, “that is why it should not only be talk about, but a right signal should be sent to the market operators that their behaviours are important and the need for them to religiously adhere to their responsibility.
Revocation Exercise Extensive
Mrs Deborah Mawuse Agyemfra, Deputy Director-General of SEC, also stated that the revocation exercise to clamp down illegal activities has been extensive.
Mrs Agyemfra noted that entry point to the Capital market is key, when considering applications from Directors of Companies, who wanted to be licensed.
On processes in granting licenses. Mrs Agyemfra said Directors always observe due diligence in granting license. She also disclosed that the CID conducted background investigations on them and if SEC is satisfied with the investigations, licenses are given, and then the supervisory role commenced. But she hinted that more investigations could be done going forward.
Mrs Agyemfra called on all stakeholders to assist SEC to achieve its mandate, noting that SEC could not achieve its mandate of regulating the Capital Market without the partnership with the Security Agencies.