EOCO warns bank staff against financial malfeasance

BY: Maxwell Adombila Akalaare
Ernest Addison — Governor, BoG
Ernest Addison — Governor, BoG

The Executive Director of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), Mr K. K. Amoah, has advised board of directors and management executives of financial institutions to perform their duties diligently to avoid being hauled before the anti-graft body over financial malfeasance.

Should any staff trespass in his or her operations, leading to an appearance at EOCO, Mr Amoah said his outfit would not hesitate to apply the law to the letter to serve as a deterrent to others.

He gave the advice at the closing ceremony of a corporate governance training programme for top management executives in Accra.

The five-day programme was organised by the Millennium Financial Sector (MFC) with support from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and EOCO for persons described as ‘key management personnel’ in the BoG’s corporate governance guidelines issued in March last year.

Attendees

The five-day training programme was to afford participants the opportunity to apprise themselves of the guidelines meant to help tidy bank operations, introduce and sustain transparency and, generally, strengthen confidence in the sector.


Beyond the normal nine or 12-member boards, the directives require that 11 other management executives of institutions regulated by the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act 2016 (Act 930) need to be conversant with corporate governance principles.

A banking consultant with the MFC and one of the facilitators, Nana Otuo Acheampong, said 150 people attended the training, which equipped participants with the principles of good corporate governance.

Shareholder interference

He urged bank staff in management positions to put proper corporate governance structures in place to ensure transparency in all aspects of their dealings.

Mr Amoah also advised them to “peruse every document that comes before them before they append their signatures in order not to become parties to someone’s fraudulent activity.”

“You should ask and be sure of what you are signing because when something happens, all those who signed are party to that act,” he said.

Never again

The Second Deputy Governor of BoG, who closed the session, said the new corporate governance directives from the central bank signalled a new chapter in the banking system.

She said the new directives would put in place the right structures that would ensure good corporate governance to help banks grow and thrive.

Importance of training

One participant and board member of UMB Bank, Mr Torkornoo Menson, told the Daily Graphic that the training had been very refreshing as it reminded them of their responsibilities as directors.

“The BoG Corporate Governance Act is there and we have all read but when you have a third party who is talking to you and ensuring the practical side of it, it becomes more refreshing,” he stated.

Relevance

Following the collapse of the UT and Capital banks in August last year, corporate governance practices have taken centre stage in discussions on the financial sector. This is because many, including the BoG, blamed poor governance practice as the cause of the demise of the banks.

Consequently, the BoG introduced the corporate governance directives in March this year to serve as a framework for financial institutions regulated by BSDI Act.