Central bank jettisons offloading of GhIPSS shares

The Bank of Ghana has blocked plans by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) to offload part of its shares to commercial banks in the country, a source close to the botched deal has told the B&FT.

GhIPSS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the central bank, has often spoken of plans to offload some of its shares to commercial banks in a bid to obtain their buy-in in terms of implementation of some of its initiatives.

Whilst its CEO, Archie Hesse, suggested recently that the plan had been “put on the backburner for now,” the source said the central bank’s new leadership had completely dumped the idea.

In 2016, a transaction advisor appointed finished its valuation of GhIPSS, a key milestone in the process to offload between 10-20 percent shares in the company to commercial banks.

“There are processes that we need to go through; one of them is the valuation of GhIPSS which, I am pleased to say, we have completed,” Archie Hesse, told the media two years ago.

Interoperability

Having missed a November 2017 deadline to deliver the platform, which will allow mobile money users registered with the various mobile network operators to send and receive money across networks, GhIPSS has given quarter one of 2018 as a new deadline.

He told journalists last month that GhIPSS is on course to finish the interoperability project by end of next month after which it would be made available to the public by the end of the first quarter of this year.

“If all things go well, from our point of view, we should be ready towards the end of February but we will then tell our bosses who may decide to launch it in March. I can give you the assurance that, no matter what happens, within quarter one of 2018 we will have mobile money interoperability in Ghana,” Mr. Hesse said.