Punish those found guilty in financial rot – Dep. Finance Minister

Government must be more punitive and deal with perpetrators of criminal acts to prevent a recurrence of the rot in the financial sector, a Deputy Finance Minister – Charles Adu Boahen, has said.

Even though government through the Attorney-General has charged a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, for his alleged role in the collapse of the bank and two others, Mr. Adu Boahen reckons stringent sanctions are needed to prevent a recurrence.

Speaking as one of the panellists at the closing of the 8th Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) in Accra, he stated: “I think one thing that has not worked well is the sanctions/punishments for those who perpetrated criminal acts; and that has been primarily because the courts have not worked as they should.

“I really think we need to find a way – either it’s a fast-track court or whatever it is – to be able to really just focus on ensuring that people are brought to book; that for me is the biggest deterrent.

“We can put in place all the structures and so on, but if people are not punished for acts they committed there is no deterrent – and therefore they will get back to doing the same old thing.”

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He also suggested a credit rating system for banks, which will help with their interest rates and loans.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) in 2017 embarked on a comprehensive reform agenda to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory framework for a more resilient banking sector.

A total of 16 universal banks which once operated in the country have been collapsed within two years as part of measures taken by the Bank of Ghana to cleanse the banking sector and make it more robust.

On her part, Elsie Awadzi – a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, emphasised that reforms undertaken by the central bank have made the banking sector better – and urged the banks to deploy more technology in their operations.

A senior partner at KPMG, Andrew Osei Akoto, commended the BoG for the “bold” measures it introduced into the banking sector, and added that it is time institutions are held to account in order to get the best of them to snowball into multinationals.

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