The Bank of Ghana (BoG) is rekindling its fight against the black-market forex trade to ensure that the new Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for forex transactions executed through forex bureaus do not simply diverts transaction to the black-market.
This is contained in the Bank’s latest set of directives to guide operations of Forex Bureau operations in the country.
The central bank maintains that it would deal with any person found transacting business with an unlicensed Forex Bureau or illegal forex dealers in accordance with the laws of Ghana.
According to the Bank of Ghana, the move is part of measures to enforce compliance by all licensed Forex Bureaux with the Forex Bureau Regulations issued in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723), and the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749) as amended.
In order to protect the privacy of the personal data of Ghanaians who provide it through their ID cards, the Bank of Ghana has directed that all licensed Forex Bureaux must register with the Data Protection Commission, as a key requirement for annual licence renewal.
This follows the directive which requires that all customers must provide valid national identification or other valid personal ID such as Voter’s ID, Passport or Driver’s Licence, when engaging in forex transactions with Forex Bureaus.
Another directive instructs that all purchases and sales of forex must be captured electronically and receipted accordingly by licensed Forex Bureaus.
It further requires that all licensed Forex Bureaux must submit the required monthly returns electronically to the Bank of Ghana within five working days after the end of the month.
All licensed Forex Bureaus are expected to complete and submit a licence renewal questionnaire two months before the expiration of the current licence.
The questionnaire must be submitted together with the attachments including;
copy of tax clearance certificate, copy of insurance certificate, extract of audited accounts, and bank statements, as well as proof of filing of annual returns at the Registrar General’s Department
Further to this, any forex Bureaux that fails to comply with the directives would face pecuniary sanctions, suspension and revocation of license in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act.
By Joshua W. Amlanu