Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of BoG

The Bank of Ghana says Ghana has made concerted efforts to check money laundering and terrorism financing crimes.

This is coming after it issued new guidelines for Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (AML/CFT&P).

The Central Bank said Accountable Institutions (AIs), in particular, have come under sustained regulatory pressure to improve their monitoring and surveillance systems with a view to detecting, preventing, and responding effectively to the threat of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.

The guideline covers among others Anti-Money Laundering Reporting designation and duties; customer due diligence; monitoring and reporting of suspicious transactions and statutory reporting requirements.

Again, the Bank of Ghana pointed out that AIs are exposed to varying Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing risks and serious financial as well as reputational damage if they fail to manage these risks adequately.

It, therefore, said diligent implementation of the provisions of the guideline would not only minimise the risk faced by the institutions of being used to launder the proceeds of crime but also provide protection against economic and organised crime, reputational and financial risks.

Financial institutions to adopt risk-based approach

In this regard, it directed institutions to adopt a risk-based approach in the identification and management of their Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing risks.

“AIs are also reminded that AML/CFT&P policies governing their operations should not only prescribe money laundering and predicate offences but also prescribe sanctions for noncompliance with the relevant AML/CFT&P requirements. It is, therefore, in the best interest of the institutions to entrench a culture of compliance which would be facilitated by this guideline”, the Central Bank also pointed out.

Revised AML/CFT&P Guideline comes into effect

This revised AML/CFT&P Guideline comes into effect from the date of issue (December 23, 2022).

The regulator of the banking industry also directed all AIs to conduct a gap analysis of their AML/CFT&P policies against the requirements of the guideline and submit the updated AML/CFT&P policies and the gap analysis report to Bank of Ghana and the Financial Intelligence Centre.

AIs will also be required to conduct their AML/CFT&P audits using this revised AML/CFT&P Guideline.

ML/TF&PF are global phenomena and there has been growing recognition in recent times, and indeed well-documented evidence, that both ML/TF&PF pose major threats to international peace and security which could seriously undermine Ghana’s development and progress.

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