Consumers of financial services will from henceforth be able to demand compliance from their respective institutions they transact business with.
It follows the completion of the Consumer Recourse Mechanism Guidelines by the Bank of Ghana.
The guidelines among others allow consumers to seek redress for complaints with the industry regulator in a timely and independent manner.
The move is also expected to promote financial stability and efficiency in the banking sector.
Commenting on the matter, Banking consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong told Citi Business News the guidelines will position Ghana’s financial sector at par with international standards.
“The guidelines will help us to identify unfair practices and enable consumers to have some confidence within the framework of the services they are engaging…It is a very expensive set of rules that have been developed and they can only go to inure to the benefit of consumers of financial services.”
The Consumer Recourse Mechanism Guidelines also operates in consonance with Section 3 (2) (d) and Section 92 (2) (a) (xi) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
The law encapsulates an array of financial institutions other than banks.
Nana Otuo Acheampong was also optimistic the extension of the guidelines to include more financial institutions will deepen confidence in the sector.
“For the first time, the guidelines go further than the Banking and Specialised money taking to include some non-deposit credit institutions such as credit unions as well as mobile money operators.”
Per the guidelines, defaulting institutions are liable to an administrative fine of not more than five thousand penalty units, and in the case of a continued breach, an additional fine of not more than fifty penalty units for each day the breach continues.
This translates into a charge of sixty thousand cedis and a daily penalty rate of six hundred cedis respectively.
Though he describes that as commendable, Nana Otuo Acheampong however urged the central bank to provide clarity on specific beneficiaries of such fines.
“They do not tell us who gets the sixty thousand whether it solely goes to the regulator or it will shared with the victim,” he stated.
“The imposition is similar to what pertains in the UK where the Ombudsman could levy a fine and that will be given to the victim. This could be as high as £100,000.”
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana