The Head of Financial Stability at the Bank of Ghana, Dr Joseph France, has expressed the need for more forex bureaus in Ghana’s fiscal space to offset the impact of parallel market operators.
According to him, the Bank of Ghana is in support of the teeming pool of forex bureaus, as the numbers will enable convenience among persons who desire to buy and or sell currency to do so. He explained that this will avert the possibility of such persons resorting to the black market.
Dr France revealed that black market operations are detrimental to the country’s fiscal space as they often times abscond with people’s monies and offer counterfeits to unsuspecting customers.
“… Have bureaus everywhere so that it will not be difficult for you to change money or to have access to changing money. That in a way, will help flush out these parallel market operators who are very inimical to our system.”Dr Joseph France
Dr France indicated that the bureaus are regulated, licensed and the Central Bank has data on them. By implication, he noted that such regulated bureaus may not “short-change” people as a parallel market operator would.
“So, we regulate the bureaus and we make sure that they go by the rules of the game.”Dr Joseph France
The Head of Financial Stability at the Bank of Ghana conceded that although there may be “some recalcitrant ones who do one or two things”, they’re corrected and brought to book. He however highlighted that when it comes to the parallel market operators, nobody checks them.
“… So, the radar is actually on these parallel market operators that are operating in the dark and running away with people’s money and bringing counterfeit money into the system.”Dr Joseph France
Dr France emphasized that the Bank of Ghana is currently working round the clock to tighten gaps that will prevent some corrupt persons from infiltrating the forex bureau system. He stated that the Central Bank is instituting a system to check the transactions of these bureaus in real time to ensure that they are providing their services as expected and keeping within the limits.
Report persons who price in dollars
Meanwhile, Dr France has urged Ghanaians to report individuals and companies that price their products and services in dollars. He revealed that while some companies are permitted to directly deal with foreign exchange due to they being net earners of foreign exchange like mining companies and oil and gas companies, most companies are not permitted to do so.
Dr France explained that companies and individuals who price their products in dollars without express permission from the Bank of Ghana are in contravention of the Foreign Exchange Act and must be dealt with.
“We flush out some of these when we get to know of them. We have limited institutions that deal in forex… It’s not everybody who is supposed to deal in forex for which you advertise. So, when these things come to our attention, we go after such persons to make sure that they stop. So, I put a challenge out there that once you get to know of somebody, we get reports and we act on them.”Dr Joseph France