Never again will Banking sector be derailed by selfish and unprofessional practitioners-Bankers resolve at 2021 Bankers Week forum
Bankers, for an extended period of time prior to the banking crisis, abandoned their duties to their depositors and rather focused on maximizing shareholders’ and in some cases, personal wealth.
This was revealed by Mr. Osei Gyasi, an Associate Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Head of Banking Supervision, Bank of Ghana during his keynote address at the 2021 Bankers Week Forum held at the True Vine Hotel in Kumasi Saturday.
Mr. Osei Gyasi who was speaking on the theme; “Ethics and Professionalism in the Ghana Banking Industry” explained that depositors were left vulnerable while shareholders thrived by exploiting loopholes in the system.
He lamented the persistent gap between what bankers claim and what they actually do in many instances and asked the Banks to walk their talk.
He said unethical practices in the Banking sector threatened the stability of the country’s financial sector and cost the country billions of cedis. He revealed that the dire consequences of unethical practices cannot be swept under the rags and encouraged all bankers to be ethical and professional in their dealings emphasizing particularly, the role of the Board of Directors of the various Banks.
Ethics in Banking is the application of values such as integrity, fairness, respect and openness to all the various stakeholders of a bank including depositors, employees, suppliers and shareholders. It involves the mindfulness of how the practices of a bank affect society.
The Institute used the forum to introduce the Ghana Banking Code of Ethics and Business Conduct to their members.
Chairman of the occasion; Mrs. Monica Boakye-Kutin, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers encouraged all players in the Banking industry to get copies of the new Ghana Banking Code of Ethics and Business Conduct as it will help avoid reprehensible behaviour amongst Bankers and increase confidence of depositors in the Banking industry.
She asked branch Managers to discuss the consequences of unethical behaviour during meetings with their staff as it will go a long way to influence professionalism in the industry.
She asked leaders in the various Banks to lead by example by showing integrity.
Philip Kwasi Buabeng, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers who delivered a presentation on Ethics and Professionalism stated that Ethics and Professionalism is the anchor of the Banking Industry. “We are all aware of the unfortunate incidents that culminated in the Banking crises. We want to say never again will we allow selfish and unethical conduct to derail the banking industry” he said and advised all Bankers to abide by the basic principles underpinning professional code of conduct.
He advised against taking advantage of one’s position for personal gains, involvement in illegal or fraudulent transactions and encouraged transparency in all dealings.
He explained that the new code is the result of collaborative work between the Chartered Institute of Bankers, the Ghana Association of Bankers and the Bank of Ghana and provides a common ethical and professional code of ethics for all players in the industry.
He said the unethical conduct of any player within the industry affects all hence the need for an all-embracing code.
President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers; Mr. Charles Acquah revealed that the Institute now operating under the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana Act (Act 991), is now mandated to promote Banking education and also regulate the practice of the Banking profession in the country. He says the mandate allows them to ensure that Bankers are equipped with the right knowledge for their job and also put in place ethics and business conduct guidelines that will help bankers do their work well. He says the new laws will help strengthen the industry and help forestall crises like the industry experienced recently.
Ghana’s Banking Industry suffered a crisis between August, 2017 and January, 2020 which witnessed the collapse of a number of Banks and the merger of others; a situation which also cost the government some GHC21 billion.