Pricewaterhousecoopers Ghana has organized a workshop to promote discussions within the banking industry to prepare them for Basel II Compliance.

Basel II accord is a system of governance in the banking sector that seeks to address the risk exposures of banks in the face of the crisis that has hit banks especially in the West.

The system aims to regulate bank operations to reduce their vulnerability to risks inherent in the sector.

In attendance were banking and other financial service providers in the country.

Mr. Charles van der Walt of Pricewaterhousecoopers, South Africa made a presentation on the topic; “Preparation towards Basel II Compliance – The practitioner’s perspective”.

He shared the experiences of banks in South Africa and else where in the world with the operators.

He said compliance with Basel II, which is a Bank of Ghana requirement as part of the global trend had implications in terms of Information Technology facilities and training of human resource.

He recommended the establishment of committees by the banks and financial institutions to oversee the implementation of the accord.

Such committees according to him, will assess the banks to see the quality of equipment and human resource available.

That will facilitate the implementation process of the accord.

The Country Leader of pricewaterhousecoopoers, Mr. Charles Egan who led a discussion after Mr. Van der Walt’s presentation said the deadline for implementation was expected to be somewhere in 2009.

He said the accord was a noble idea and urged bank operators to attach seriousness to the idea.

The Executive Director, Finance & Area CFO – Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cote D’Ivoire of the Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Sanjay Rughani revealed the bank had started implementing the accord.

He cautioned the process of implementation “is not a piece of cake”.

Mr. Rughani saind Basel II was an improvement on Basel I which had some gaps.

That system, according to him was using the same parameter to assess all risks which was not good enough.

The Standard Chartered bank boss advised all banks to implement the accord to make assessment quite uniform.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu