Data Bank has announced the initiative for its staff to work from home through communication technology, effective December 22 until January 10, 2023.
Data Bank in its communique disclosed that, its staff will be working away from the usual workplace through digital channels due to the adverse effect of the macro-economic challenges on the bank’s operation.
According to Data Bank, economic crisis and launch of the Debt Exchange Program have left many of its fund managers the difficulty in selling their Government of Ghana securities, hence resulting in the inability to raise necessary cash needed to meet the withdrawal requests of customers. In instances where bonds were sold, it was often done at a discount because the market value of bonds had fallen significantly, it stated.
“Following the launch of the debt exchange program, activity on the secondary market has virtually come to a halt, making it impossible for us to access liquidity. This is because, fund managers are expected to exchange all their existing bonds for the new ones being issued by the Government.
“However, if we are unable to trade the bonds we have, we are unable to access any cash to pay withdrawal requests. Therefore, our original two-week estimate for withdrawal requests has now been impacted.”DataBank
The bank revealed its current engagement with the Ministry of Finance, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Ghana Securities Industry Association regarding the impact of the debt exchange on its mutual funds as well as other Collective Investment Schemes.
“As part of these discussions, SEC issued a notice to Market Operators (SEC/CIR/005/12/22) on December 9, 2022, indicating its intent to support the market with much-needed liquidity relief, including access to the Financial Stability Fund as a last resort.”Databank
Databank therefore assured its customers of the ability to access the necessary fund to pay their withdrawal requests once the Debt Exchange Program has been concluded (expected settlement date: January 6, 2023).
The Need For The Bank To Work Remotely
According to Data Bank, some of its clients have tried to be patient with the bank as it awaits on the Government to provide liquidity.
However, the bank as well disclosed certain physical and verbal act on its staff by clients who visit the working place. Some customers threaten the lives of staff as well as their families, as such, it has no choice but to move to a work-from-home option, it mentioned.
“While our offices will be physically closed, we will continue to serve you and process transactions remotely, and all our digital channels will remain open just as we did during Covid. However, we cannot endanger the lives of staff by opening the office without any available liquidity.
“We are fully aware the current crisis in our industry is very concerning, and we continue to ask for your patience during these difficult times. We are very hopeful the Financial Stability Fund or any other Fund that the Government may provide in the interim will provide much needed relief for you and other investors. We will provide another update once we have a clearer view of the situation.”Databank