The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has cautioned the public against depositing money with Menzgold, a gold purchasing company, because it has not licensed the company to take deposits.
It said anybody who deposited money with Menzgold did so at his or her own risk.
Answering questions before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday, the Second Deputy Governor of the BoG, Dr Johnson Asiamah, said the Minerals Commission had given Menzgold a licence to purchase gold.
However, he said, the company needed to secure a licence from the Central Bank to enable it to accept deposits.
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"To accept deposits, you need a licence from the BoG. We have not licensed them for that purpose and hence, if you go ahead to do business with them it is at your own risk," he said.
Dr Asiamah was at the PAC to answer questions relating to the 2016 report of the Auditor-General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the BoG for the Half-Year Ended June 30, 2016.
The question that elicited the mention of Menzgold was posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Gomoa West and member of the PAC, Mr Alexander Kodwo Kom Abban.
Mr Abban said advertisements were ongoing recently of a mixture of investment and banking or securities matters.
He said he had asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an explanation, and the response from SEC was that it had made calls to the company but was yet to receive any response.
Mr Abban wanted to know whether the BoG was aware of the adverts, and also whether the Central Bank had any collaboration with SEC to address the issue.
Not licensed to take deposits
Dr Asiamah said only last week, the BoG had caused for publications to be made in the newspapers about Menzgold to the effect that "we have not licensed them to accept deposits".
He said the central bank could not close down Menzgold because the Minerals Commission had given it licence to purchase gold.
"So based on that we cannot just get up and close them down. There has to be evidence that they are accepting deposits thereby flouting our regulations.
"So we took the first step by notifying the public that these people are not to accept deposits. If they ask you to give them money, don't give it to them," he said.
Dr Asiamah said the BoG as a follow-up, would sit down with the respective agencies "to work together to pin them down".
He stressed the need for the public to be educated to refrain from giving out money to any group of people who promised good returns.
"We are too ready to give out to any group of people. Anyone that promises a good return, we are quick to just give out money to them," he lamented.
Dr Asiamah said the central bank had started publishing the 'clean list', which contains microfinance institutions that were complying with BoG regulatory measures, and “we expect the public to take that information and work with it".