By Nicholas Osei-Wusu
Officials of the Bank of Ghana have educated traders at the Kejetia Market complex and Race Course in Kumasi on the best and safest financial transactions to enable them to, at least, reduce their risk level in dealing with financial institutions.
The programme was to sensitise the public to the mandate of the Bank.
It was patronised by traders and hawkers from the Kejetia Market Complex and the Race Course in Kumasi, with all the heads of the various commodity groupings in attendance.
They were educated on the mandates of the Bank of Ghana, banking services, consumer rights, and responsibilities under the various financial frameworks in the country.
The forum formed part of initiatives being undertaken by the Central Bank to build the capacity of consumers of financial services to reduce the risks associated with financial transactions.
The Head of Conduct Supervision at the Bank of Ghana, Augustine Amoako Donkor, advised traders to always first establish whether or not the financial institution they intend to transact business with is licenced by the Central Bank.
They must also take time to understand all the terms and conditions of the credit facilities they apply for before signing up.
Mr. Donkor noted that both the financial institution and consumer of their services and products have certain rights and responsibilities to each other, cautioning that the failure of customers to pay back their loans has serious repercussions for the economy of Ghana.
“Your refusal to pay off the loan has serious repercussions, not only for the lender but the economy as a whole. If you pick a loan, ensure that you use it strictly for the purpose for which you took it so that it’ll generate funds for you to back the lender the loan you took,” Mr. Donkor advised.
A Chief Manager at the Financial Stability Department, also at the Bank of Ghana, Reverend Kwasi Twum, took the participants through the categories of financial institutions licenced and regulated by the Bank of Ghana and what they can or cannot do.
He told the traders that, even though there are unscrupulous staff members of the various financial institutions culpable of the fraudulent activities, financial consumers also have a duty to always take preventive measures to secure their savings or deposits.
“If you’re a user of ATM, please be careful not to expose your PIN code to anyone, not even your spouse or child, because it can get into wrong hands. Don’t sign blank cheques earlier than you intend to withdraw cash from your account; it’s not advisable,” he cautioned.
The Representative of the Asantehemaa at the various markets in Kumasi, Nana Yaa Foowaa, commended the Bank of Ghana for the awareness creation because it will empower the traders to protect themselves against fraudulent financial transactions.
She said, “their message is very much appreciated. If fraudsters hack our phones to take away data and call credit, what would stop them from hacking into our MoMo and bank accounts?”