Governor, is this Africanacity?

BY: Samuel Doe Ablordeppey
Abena Osei-Poku — MD, Barclays Bank Ghana Limited
Abena Osei-Poku — MD, Barclays Bank Ghana Limited

Dear Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), I want to draw your attention to some below standard banking at a branch of one of the universal banks that needs your immediate intervention to remedy.

I prefer your intervention because BoG is what it is; the regulator of the banking sector that sets the rules and ensures high professionalism and standards to the benefit of the customer, the banks and the economy.

I am involved in a transaction that borders partly on trust. The undertaking is in the Volta Region, while I live in Accra. A good friend introduced me to the partners and also offered to serve as intermediaries for the payments, for the sake of evidence.

I drew and paid a cheque into his account to defray part of the cost of the transaction and for more than a week the cheque has not cleared.

The reasons were not that the switching infrastructure was malfunctioning, or the cheque itself had any challenge or the drawer’s bank had any challenge.

It was only because a cashier in the receiving bank failed to provide the receiver stamp. Although my bank duly called to confirm the transaction, it had to withdraw its clearance because there was no receiver’s stamp.

The cheque was, therefore, returned to the receiver bank and all I expected a responsible bank to do was to do the needful and represent the cheque to the clearing house.

This is what took a week, and also until I took time off work to visit the banking hall.

The bank, its cashier, head of operation, branch manager and anybody who should care, did not see the reason to stamp the cheque and represent it.

Well, now I have gone back to prompt them and action is being taken. This again hits a snag because the receiving bank thought it wise to call to confirm that, indeed, I want a customer of the bank, to receive the value of the cheque.

This is without recourse to the fact that I paid in the cheque after my ID card has been inspected and validated, and that I was, for the second time, in the banking hall to do the same thing that the call centre wanted from me – to confirm the cheque; really?.

Dear Governor, do you call this Africanacity? Is there any subtle or overt attempt to stop the use of cheques for transactions in the country?

If not, why is it that the e-transfers and payments do not need the same confirmations from call centres and virtual branches before they are allowed to pass?

I am saddened by this and already contemplating going beyond the freedom to express myself to seeking a legal redress.

The banking sector must work as the regulator has been fighting tooth and nail for.

Samuel Doe Ablordeppey,
Teshie, Accra.
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