The Bank of Ghana says cyber security is a key national priority, and governance structures and strategies are therefore in place with leadership at very high levels of government.

Within the financial sector, the Central Bank said it implements policies, strategies, and regulation for the banking and other deposit-taking institutions and payments system infrastructure and service providers, adding, information is shared between the regulator and the national authorities frequently.

Speaking at a virtual conference on ‘Alliance for Financial Inclusion High-Level Joint Learning Programme on Inclusive FinTech Ecosystems and Cybersecurity’, Second Deputy Governor, Elsie Addo-Awadzi said the BoG engages with other financial sector regulators bilaterally and at the level of the Financial Stability Council whose mandate is to promote regulatory cooperation, financial system-wide risk mitigation, and crisis preparedness.

Sharing Bank of Ghana’s Experience in Implementing Cybersecurity Policy Frameworks & the Coordination Models Adopted to Build a Robust Ecosystem, she said “going forward, cross-border cooperation remains an issue to explore to promote information sharing and harmonized approaches to regulating cross-border service providers. Also, continuous capacity building in the industry and for our supervisory teams will be key, while enhanced consumer education will help to empower consumers to make choices that protect their financial assets and livelihoods”.

“BoG also stresses the need for enhanced due diligence in recruitment and outsourcing by financial institutions and payments systems operators and service providers, to mitigate insider fraud”, she explained.

Whilst admitting that technology is making financial services even riskier, as a result of fraud and other risks that could affect operations, financial soundness and stability, and confidence in the financial system, she said the Bank of Ghana is always monitoring transactions and all systems.

Key issues to be addressed from a regulatory perspective to help anticipate, identify, and mitigate cyber risks on a continued basis, Mrs. Awadzi said  include improvements in the security systems and infrastructure of national switches, banks and other financial services providers, electronic money issuers, telcos, fintechs including 3rd party aggregators and technology service providers.

Others are deploying staff and other insiders in fraud prevention and mitigation, enhancing capacity to understand, identify and mitigate cyber risks on the part of operators, regulators, security agencies, and the entire national eco-system.

Banking fraud in 2019

In 2019, the banking industry reported a total number of 2,295 fraud cases as compared to 2,175 fraud cases reported in 2018.

The marginal increase in the number of fraud cases reported may partly be attributed to the improved efforts by the Financial Stability Department to identify, monitor and to ensure compliance with reporting of fraud cases in the industry.

The industry reported a total fraud value of approximately GH¢115.52 million.

Cybercrime however declined by34% to 114 last year.