BoG fines Fidelity Bank , First National over Forex trading breaches
BoG fines Fidelity Bank , First National over Forex trading breaches

BoG fines Fidelity Bank , First National over Forex trading breaches

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has fined Fidelity Bank and First National Bank GH¢12,000 each for violating laws on forex trading in Ghana.

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The BoG in a notice published Thursday [June 29, 2023] also suspended the forex licences of the two banks from June 29 to July 28, 2023.

The GH¢12,000 each fine represents 1000 penalty points each for breaching sections 3.4, 3.5, and 3.9 of the Ghana Interbank Forex Market Conduct rules.

Given the license suspension, customers of these banks may have to now look elsewhere to do their forex business within this period. 

Section 3.4 of the rules states that “Licensed Foreign Exchange Dealers (LFXDs) are required to update indicative quotes for buying and selling US dollars at regular intervals, on the Reuters and Bloomberg information systems. Indicative quotes shall be updated at intervals of no more than 30 minutes.”

Forex trading in Ghana

Section 3.5 also states that “all interbank FX trades must be booked on the Reuters platform and appropriately confirmed within five (5) minutes after the trade is concluded. These trades must also be reported in the daily FX report submitted to the Bank of Ghana.”

The BoG in a notice said the two banks breached these sections of the guidelines and therefore cautioned forex market players including banks, forex bureaus, forex brokers, and money transfer operators (MTOs) to adhere strictly to the applicable forex market regulations and guidelines.

First National Bank on temporary hold on foreign exchange license

Meanwhile, First National Bank Ghana has confirmed that it has temporarily halted the processing of new or pending foreign exchange transactions for 30 days due to ongoing engagements with the Bank of Ghana.

A press release issued on Thursday [June 29 2023] by Delali Dzidzienyo, the Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs said: "to minimise any possible disruptions, we have made temporary arrangements with partner banks to initiate and complete foreign exchange deals for and on behalf of First
National Bank Ghana and its clients, should the need arise."

"As a bank, we hold ourselves to the highest operational and regulatory standards in every aspect of our business."

"We are committed to reaching an amicable resolution with the Bank of Ghana for the restoration of our Foreign Exchange license," it added.

Temporary suspension of Fidelity Bank's foreign exchange license by Bank of Ghana

On its part, Fidelity Bank in a press release stated: "We refer to Bank of Ghana’s notice to the public, of a suspension of our Foreign Exchange trading licence, and wish to reiterate that this does not in any way affect Fidelity Bank’s normal banking operations."

"While we address the reporting concerns raised by our regulator, we have in the interim reached agreements with our partner banks to aid in seamless completion of foreign exchange transactions on behalf of Fidelity Bank.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this announcement may have caused, and we reassure all our valued customers that we are actively engaging the Bank of Ghana to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

"All Branches, Agent Points and digital platforms continue to provide our customers with the full range of financial services as usual.

"As a Bank, we strive to maintain the highest levels of operational compliance across all our business activities, and we are fully committed to engaging the Bank of Ghana to resolve this situation," it added.

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