GAB President urges stakeholders to collaborate to tackle advance payment issues


The President of the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), Mr. John Kofi Adomakoh, who is also the Managing Director of GCB Bank PLC, recently addressed attendees at the GAB Stakeholder Engagement Event on Advance Payment held at the Ecobank Head Office recently, urging them to collaborate in order to find solutions to the challenges related to advance payment.

The session which was spearheaded by GCB Bank, brought together key stakeholders from the banking sector, representatives of trade associations, government officials, and business leaders. The primary goal of the meeting was to foster dialogue and develop practical solutions to streamline the documentation process and enhance the efficiency of foreign exchange (FX) transactions.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Adomakoh emphasised the importance of addressing the challenges related to the provision of requisite documentation for trade-related FX transactions, particularly advanced payments.

“We must recognise the interconnectedness between regulatory compliance and trade facilitation. While regulatory enforcement is essential to maintaining the integrity of our financial system, we must also seek solutions that do not unduly burden businesses or hinder international trade activities but explore innovative approaches and practical solutions that simplify FX documentation processes, enhance compliance, and facilitate trade. By working together, I am confident we can identify actionable recommendations that benefit our industry and the broader economy”, he said.

One of the key challenges highlighted during the session was the high exchange rates and bank charges that local businesses face during transactions. These high costs make it more expensive for local businesses to engage in international trade, placing them at a competitive disadvantage compared to businesses in countries with lower transaction costs.

Mr. Adomakoh also underscored the importance of collaboration between banks, regulatory authorities, and businesses. “To address the issues affecting our ability to effect trade seamlessly for a good section of our customer base, we must collaborate to ensure a convenient and user-friendly trade facilitation environment with enhanced compliance rules and streamlined processes to support trade-related transactions,” he stated.

Two panel discussions that offered thorough insights into these issues and proffered solutions were included in the programme. One panel discussed the issues from the standpoint of the regulations, while the other focused on the practitioners. Perspectives were exchanged by specialists in compliance and documentation management, as well as best practices which were also shared by the panelists. Updates on steps taken to expedite the documentation process and changes to regulations were provided by representatives of the Bank of Ghana.

At the tail-end of the session, a joint task force comprising representatives from the Ghana Association of Bankers, GCB Bank, the Bank of Ghana, trade associations, and other pertinent stakeholders was formed to deliver on the agreed actions. This team was tasked with developing and implementing strategies to address documentation challenges and improve the overall efficiency of trade-related FX transactions.

The successful resolution of these documentation challenges will significantly contribute to Ghana’s economic growth and development, reinforcing the nation’s position as a hub for commerce and investment in West Africa. Under Mr. Adomakoh’s leadership, the Ghana Association of Bankers is committed to fostering a robust and efficient banking industry that meets the needs of its clients and the broader economy.

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