The Bank of Ghana has organised a financial literacy programme for officers of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in the Volta Regional capital, Ho.

The programme, dubbed ‘Public Sensitisation Programme on Banking Services, Consumer Rights and Responsibilities’, seeks to help officers of the Ghana Immigration Service understand the financial system and empower them with relevant knowledge to assist them make the right financial decisions.

Speaking at the programme, the Head of the Conduct Supervision Unit of the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Ghana, Augustine Amoako Donkor, cautioned the public against certain financial products which promise huge returns on investments, saying, such offers are usually fraudulent.

He advised the officers to always consider the safety of their funds as they get attracted to the unreasonably huge returns promised by some financial institutions.

Mr. Amoako Donkor stressed the need for customers of financial institutions to undertake due diligence before signing onto investment products, indicating that, most people are lured into investments without adequate knowledge of the critical components of the financial instrument and how it works.

He encouraged the officers and public to avoid any suspicious financial product or company and report same to the regulator for quick action to be taken.

Mr. Amoako Donkor stressed the need for customers of financial institutions to read and understand the agreements and terms and conditions of products and services given them by service providers before signing onto them.

He urged the GIS Officers to ensure that they receive clarity on all information on products and services provided by financial institutions, particularly on fees and charges, and requested them to report all undisclosed fees and charges to the Central Bnk.

Mr. Amoako Donkor further encouraged the GIS Officers to continuously monitor their accounts and the activities of the institutions they do business with, and not to go to sleep after signing onto financial products and services. In this way, they are able to promptly observe or detect any unauthorised or illegal happenings on their accounts to enable them raise the necessary alerts.

He urged customers of financial institutions to demonstrate responsibility by sticking to signed agreements and terms and conditions, especially in the area of credit facilities.

He called on borrowers to endeavor to pay off credit facilities, adding that the credit reporting system which facilitates credit information sharing among lenders could make other lenders refuse to grant further credit to borrowers who default in loan repayment.

Speaking on Customer Complaint Handling Procedures, Daniel Mensah Sarpong of the Market Conduct Office of the Financial Stability Department of the central bank stated that it is the right of every customer of a financial institution to make a complaint to the service provider and receive resolution anytime they are not satisfied with a product or service.

He added that customers may seek the intervention of the Bank of Ghana where they are not satisfied with the resolution provided by financial institutions.

The officers were also encouraged to update their bank records with the Ghana Card.

The programme focused on topics such as the regulatory authorities of Ghana’s financial sector, institutions regulated by the Bank of Ghana, responsible borrowing, identifying Ponzi schemes, complaint reporting guidelines, and anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism matters