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Bank of Ghana hits bank, forex bureaux

The Bank of Ghana has taken action on a number of irregularities in the conduct of foreign exchange transfers by a bank and a number of forex bureaux.

The Bank says in a statement that Access Bank Ghana Limited engaged in the externalization of various sums in favour of a company which had no account relationship with the bank and, in another instance, in favour of a company without any documentation. The transfers were made without the documentation required by the Foreign Exchange Act and Guidelines.

The Bank of Ghana has therefore decided to suspend Access Bank Ghana Limited from engaging in foreign exchange business for a period of six months.

The operating licences of the five bureaux, namely: Ocean Drive Forex Bureau, Kafsons Forex Bureau, Fatcoms Forex Bureau, Nabrim Forex Bureau and Sears Forex Bureau, all in Accra, have been revoked.

The Bank says the bureaux purchased huge sums of foreign exchange from banks for onward sale to clients but failed to record these purchases in their books and also did not include the information in the returns submitted to the Bank of Ghana, thereby concealing the end use of such funds.

The Bank of Ghana warned all banks and licensed dealers in foreign exchange to strictly abide by the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act 2006, Act 723 or face stiff sanctions, including prosecution.

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