- Educates immigration officers on financial literacy
The Bank of Ghana has further sent caution to the public on falling for financial products and services that seem too good to be true, especially those from unlicenced and unregulated financial institutions.
Speaking at a training workshop organised by the central bank for officers of the Ghana Immigration Service in Accra, Head of Conduct Supervision Unit, Augustine Donkor, cautioned the public on certain financial products which promise huge returns on investments, saying such offers are usually fraudulent.
He encouraged the officers and public to engage the services or advice of financial experts before signing onto any product or offer – and also, to report any suspicious financial product or company to the regulator for it to take quick action.
Mr. Donkor further assured that the Bank of Ghana has increased its vigilance on the market, becoming more proactive than reactive: hence the regular warnings and notices to the public about companies and products it considers suspicious and fraudulent.
Also speaking at the training, Head of Market Conduct Office-Financial Stability Department, Desmond Agbogah, said the training has become necessary due to the rise in complaints lodged against licenced institutions in respect of some products, services and practices.
Most of these complaints, he said, have bordered on issues such as the non-disclosure of key information, wrongful application of interest on loans, imposition of unexplained charges, payment of remittances to wrong beneficiaries and other forms of financial fraud.
“A critical observation made from these complaints is the knowledge-gap in financial and banking-related issues on the part of some consumers of financial products and services. In some instances, it was observed that many customers of banks/specialised deposit-taking institutions lack adequate appreciation of their rights and responsibilities as consumers of financial services.
“It is in light of these that the Bank of Ghana continuously engages segments of the public to provide relevant information aimed at improving financial awareness,” he said.
The training, dubbed ‘Public Sensitisation Programme on Banking Services, Consumer Rights and Responsibilities’, was to help officers of the Ghana Immigration Service in Accra understand the financial system and how to detect fraudulent schemes.
Among the training’s objectives was to educate the officers about various financial products and services and alert them to their rights and responsibilities when transacting business on the market; and to enhance trust and confidence in the sector to encourage financial inclusion.
The officers were taken through topics like: loan acquisitions and what to insist on, and questions to ask before accepting a loan offer from a financial institution; identifying Ponzi schemes; and various complaint reporting platforms, among others.
It was also to provide relevant information to customers of financial institutions that enables them to make informed decisions on the market and protect their funds.
The Greater Accra Regional Commander of Ghana Immigration Service, DCOI Maud Anima Quainoo, thanked the Bank of Ghana for organising the training, saying it has become an eye-opener for the officers on things that they usually took for granted when patronising financial products.
She further stated that they will transfer the knowledge gained to other colleagues and the general public through their interactions.