As part of efforts to increase financial literacy and financial inclusion, Databank has successfully hosted the 3rd edition of its annual media training to enhance the accuracy of coverage on financial reporting.
The training which was held under the theme, ‘Curbing Investment Fraud: The Role of The Media’, took place at Databank’s head office in Accra.
Giving the opening remark, Chief Marketing Officer of Databank, Gillian Hammah, bemoaned the rise and considerable popularity of fraudulent schemes in Ghana, adding that the presence of relevant stakeholders such as the media will help in raising awareness among Ghanaians to fight fraud.
“This is the third year that we are doing the media training and it is because we have realised that there is so much education that needs to happen both within the media and the public, and we feel that the media has the voice and ability to touch many Ghanaians. So, if we can bring the media together and educate them about investment, … the message can reach out to more Ghanaians and it can help protect more people.
“The purpose of this training is about growing the industry, growing people’s futures and helping everybody to be able to achieve financial independence,” she said.
Delivering the guest speaker’s address, Head of Policy Research and Information Technology at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Emmanuel Ashong-Katai, highlighted the types and characteristics of fraudulent schemes, and the role of the SEC and media in curbing investment fraud.
“There are so many investments; it is important to know your risk capital in the sense that if you lose all the money that you are investing, will you still have extra to live on? That is the first thing to consider because we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.
“It is also important to understand the product you are investing in, know the risk associated with the product. We should be able to ask questions and know what we are investing in and find out if the seller of the products has a valid license. The product must be known to the regulator. So these are some of the information we need to keep abreast with when we want to invest. Investment is also about patience – the money will come, it will take time for it to gradually mature; then, you will be able to get your returns,” he said.
He further urged the media and the general public to be alert at all times and promptly report any suspicious investment to SEC, adding that his outfit is working toward reviewing special legislation to deal with investment fraud in Ghana.
“We keep reviewing our laws all the time, and as we speak, we are still going to review the securities industry law and look at other legislation. We are still working with the Ministry of Finance, the Attorney General’s Department and other stakeholders; and when all these laws are reviewed and passed, it will enhance the investment space and protect investors. We are also considering an investor protection fund, thus, laws and regulations surrounding them will be enacted so that investors will be seriously protected from the hands of old fraudsters,” he said.
The training was attended by over thirty journalists in Ghana with representatives from radio, TV, print and online media houses.