Ghanaian News

Ghana fined £5.8 million by UK financial regulator for GHIB failings in 2012-16

Ghana International Bank (GHIB), a bank set up in the City of London by Ghana Commercial Bank in 1959 to finance international trade and serve as an intermediary for the flow of funds to and from Ghana, has reached a £5.8 million settlement with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA fined Ghana after conducting investigation into GHIB’s anti-money laundering (AML) controls over its correspondent banking activities between 2012 and 2016.

GHIB says it “accepts full responsibility for its historic failings and, under the terms of the agreement, has agreed to pay a civil penalty totalling £5,829,900”.

Leadership shift
A statement issued by GHIB and dated 23 June 2022 said the FCA noted in its findings that GHIB has since taken significant steps to improve its AML systems and controls.

“It also said that GHIB and its senior management had worked in an open and co-operative way with the regulator, including by notifying the FCA of its AML shortcomings. It should also be noted that no evidence was found of GHIB facilitating any money laundering or any other financial crime,” the GHIB statement read.

The statement from GHIB also says that “since the period under investigation, the bank has appointed a completely new board, with three new independent non-executive directors, and is also under new management with a new CEO, COO, CRO and MLRO. GHIB has also significantly strengthened its AML systems and controls, introduced an enhanced risk management framework and increased the number of staff, particularly in key control and regulatory functions.”

New direction
The statement quoted Dean Adansi, the chief executive of GHIB, as saying: “GHIB takes its compliance with anti-money laundering regulations extremely seriously and we are pleased to have come to a resolution with the FCA over these historic issues.

“We have invested considerable resources in our risk management systems and controls, and have built up a strong team within the bank.

“Under new leadership, GHIB is a fundamentally different bank today, with a healthy balance sheet and the support of its major shareholders, and we are looking forward to supporting our clients as the bank of choice, and trusted partner in Africa.”

Dr Ernest Addison, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and chairman of GHIB, is also quoted in the GHIB statement. He notes: “GHIB provides critical correspondent banking services to financial institutions and corporations both within Ghana and across the region.

“The past few years have been a transformative time for the bank, and GHIB has never been in a stronger position than it is today.

“The strategic investments that GHIB has made in its people, systems and processes, accompanied by its recent recapitalisation, will serve to underpin the critical role that the bank plays in the Ghanaian economy.”

In 1959, Ghana Commercial Bank set up a branch in the City of London to finance international trade and serve as an intermediary for the flow of funds to and from Ghana. Ghana International Bank (GHIB) was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1998 to assume that mantle.

Authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority, the bank is now owned by a consortium of major Ghanaian financial institutions, with the Bank of Ghana serving as majority shareholder.

Today, GHIB focuses on six key areas: treasury and global markets, trade finance, corporate and institutional banking, retail and small business banking, correspondent banking and payment solutions.

However, the bank’s focus remains the same – to support the economies of Ghana and the wider African continent.

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