By Joyce Boahemaa Fosu
The GIMPA alumni has held its third speaker series on the theme: ‘Toward Improving Minimum Quality Standards in Financial Services-Challenges and Opportunities.
In his statement, the alumni president, Mr. Norman Yemetey Tetteh indicated that Ghana’s financial sector had seen remarkable changes over the years.
This, he said, was in line with government’s aim of boosting the financial sector in order for citizens to gain confidence in the financial sector or the banks to be precise.
‘That notwithstanding, one cannot dismiss the fact that the financial sector is in dire need of assistance, he added.
The aim of the lecture, he said, was to analyse the steps that can be taken to improve the financial sector of the country.
The goal of the alumni was therefore, to engage bright minds to provoke the conversation on the issue.
Presenting the lecture, the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, Mr. Alhassan Andani, who is also an aluminus, said government was committed to ensuring that citizens gain confidence in the financial sector again.
He noted that quality standards in the financial sector was dictated firstly by law. He further explained that the license to operate a financial institution imposes the minimum standards of operation.
‘Secondly, quality standards are dictated by regulations and this also constitutes an integral part of the operations of all financial institutions,’ he stressed.
Mr. Andani again, indicated that commercial pragmatism and reputation were all dictated by quality standards.
‘For us banks, quality standards are very important because we do not have a second chance to make a second impression,’ he said.
He maintained that the most important thing about quality standards was transparency and confidentiality.
‘It is very important that banks be transparent about every credit or debit, the law even requires us to keep a minimum of 15 years of such records,’ he stressed.
Mr. Andani emphasized the enormous role played by audit and compliance in banking saying every process undertaken in banking are recorded and compliance was the front runner to audit.
‘Thus when we look at the failures being recorded in the financial sector, you cannot help but to ask yourself what happened to audit and compliance?’ he quizzed.
He was quick to add that, the failures were not as a result of a lack of standards , ‘in fact we are overwhelmed by standards,’ he said and indicated that human weakness was the cause of the failures.
Mr. Andani therefore, urged the public to develop confidence in the financial sector saying ‘we are in a good place as a country, we are a developing economy and we need the confidence of everybody,’ he added.
In his closing remarks, the chairman of the GIMPA governing council, Mr. Kofi Darko Asante, who chaired the programme, charged the regulating body, the Central Bank to be up and doing in the wake of these failures on the part of some banks.
‘In looking at the banks that have been closed down as a result of fraud the question that comes to mind is what has the Bank of Ghana been doing up till now?’ he stressed.
He used the opportunity to challenge the alumni to also help the Institute by putting up physical infrastructure to support the Institute.
He ending by saying ‘ask not what GIMPA can do for the alumni but what the alumni can do for GIMPA.’
Present at the event were some members of the governing council, the Rector, the secretary of the Institute, former Rectors, and many other dignitaries.