The Bank of Ghana (BoG) is urging stricter enforcement of the code of ethics regulating the banking industry.
This advice according to the regulator is to limit corruption and fraud related cases in the banking sector.
Banks and other financial institutions in the country lost GHS 56 million to fraud in the year 2022 alone; a development the Central Bank describes as problematic.
“Although, the 2022 Banks, SDIs, and PSPs Fraud report showed a decline in staff involvement in fraud cases to 188 in 2022 from 278 in 2021, the persistence of these unethical acts among employees of Banks and SDIs remains a concern. As reported, most of the incidents involving bank staff and had to do with cash theft (cash suppression) from customers’ accounts and fraudulent withdrawals on accounts of customers.”
This came to light at the 27th National Banking and Ethics Conference in Accra as part of the 60th anniversary of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Ghana.
There, Dr. Bernard Otabil, the Director of Ethics and Internal Investigations of the BoG who spoke on behalf of the Governor, Dr. Ernest Addison stressed the need for bankers to uphold the highest form of ethical standards to ensure that confidence in the banking sector is not eroded.
“Ethical business practice should be pursued relentlessly and aggressively by all industry players. In doing this, we must adopt a collaborative approach, involving every individual in the institution, so that “doing the right thing” becomes embedded in the work culture. Each bank must aim to create a values-driven culture, agreed on by both the leader and leadership team, which should serve as a constant reference within the bank’s systems and processes.”
“When the culture within the banking sector is values-based and values-driven, stakeholders, including depositors, would likely align their values to that of the bank. By that, a strong ethical organizational culture supported by ethical decision-making and conduct would emerge and enhance professionalism within the industry.”
The 60th anniversary of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Ghana is held under the theme “Redefining professionalism in the banking sector through ethics”.
“It is my fervent hope that the collective efforts, from the regulator, banking institutions and their associations, training institutions like CIB, and the individual bankers themselves, will help stem the tide of unethical behaviours and reduce the occurrence of ethical violations to the barest minimum, or eliminate them completely, to raise the levels of trust and confidence of the public in our industry”, Dr. Otabil concluded