The Association of Financial Houses (AFH), an association of Non-Bank Financial Institutions, has launched its code of ethics to ensure professionalism and regulate operations of that sector.
The aim behind the code of ethics creation is to provide good corporate governance guidelines for members of the association in their day-day administrative practices, so as not to be found culpable of violating Bank of Ghana (BoG) standards.
The President of AFH, Oko Nikoi Dzani, said in his address that what happened recently in the banking sector is the result of operators in that space not behaving themselves well. So, it is a wake-up call to everybody operating in the financial spectrum to do the right things that will ensure development of the sector.
“We have a role to play as Non-Bank Financial Institutions. We have owners or stakeholders, we have fellows or competitors in the market, and we also have customers whose life-time savings and investment are entrusted into our hands to handle.
“Their lives and futures depend on these capitals, so we have to be careful with the way we treat them in order not to put their futures in jeopardy,” he said.
The code of ethics, launched under the theme ‘Ethics and sound corporation governance in finance’ was given to members for the first time and is to take effect immediately.
Mrs. Nadine Amuah-Oduro-Institute of Directors, who declared the codes officially launched, indicated that to support the goals the AFH code of ethics outline, six principles and standards of conduct are featured, namely: Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity; act objectively; respect confidentiality and privacy; honour your commitments; behave in a professional manner; and uphold the law, rules and regulations.
The Head of Banking Supervision-BoG, Osei Gyasi, commended the executives of AFH for putting together the code of ethics to enable its members operate with some decorum and adhere to professional standards.
“Financial Houses have played a big role in the provision of finance to businesses in the country. Failure by banks and non-banks to follow rules that regulate the sector is what has forced the BoG to crack the whip over what happened recently.
“It is not only about putting together this document and getting the recommendations of us, but putting into practice or ensuring compliance with contents of the document as Association members is the most important factor,” he advised.
The Association is expected to institute self-regulatory policies and guidelines among members aimed at growth and stability, and also to ensure full compliance with Regulatory guidelines as shall be directed by the Central Bank from time to time.
According to AFH, the code of ethics applies to all employees of member-institutions, since the integrity and reputation of the institutions are their most valuable business assets – and as such they must strive to preserve and enhance these.