Accra, Experts at a roundtable organized by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) have stressed the need for a good corporate governance in the banking industry in order to ensure success.

According to them, it was important to ensure that players in the sector adhered to strict corporate governance principles in all their dealings.

Speaking at a roundtable on the banking sector in light of the assumption and purchase of UT Bank and Capital Bank by the GCB Bank, Dr John Gatsi, an economist, said stronger regulations and good corporate governance was necessary for the industry going forward.

He said the happenings at UT Bank and Capital Bank, which led to their collapse, illustrated this need.

Globally, anytime we have such problems, it is either because we have a combination of regulatory failures or failure in the area of corporate governance.

If we are going to deal with this problem, to have a positive effect in the long term, then we need to be looking at stronger regulation and effective corporate governance within our banking sector, he stated.

Dr Gatsi who is also a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast said without this, Ghana was likely to see a recurrence of such problems, which would not be good for the country.

He noted for instance that, having owner-managers participate at top management and board level will incentivize them to ensure that the right things were done to protect the long-term interest of the owners.

He also called for more independent directors on boards of banks and other financial institutions to ensure a balanced board.

He said board members should be knowledgeable and conversant with the provisions of the Banking Act and with obligations under the Act so as to ensure the right things were done.

Mr. Ekow Afedzie, Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, explained that in the case of UT Bank, which was listed company, the GSE had made efforts to ensure adherence to their regulations, which bordered on good corporate governance, including publishing of their accounts.

However it eventually failed to comply, which led to its suspension and subsequent delisting from the GSE.

We are going to ensure that we enforce our rules to the letter going forward, he maintained.

Mr Adu Anane Antwi, former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also stressed the need for effective implementation of the new Banking Act, especially as it held top executives of bank liable for breaches of the Act by the bank.

He said the act now also empowered individual directors to report breaches to the Bank of Ghana, thus the need for people selected to such roles to know the rules, responsibilities and other obligations of the position before assuming it.

Regulators in the sector are now doing well and should be encouraged and resourced to implement the laws, he noted.

He also urged the financial media in Ghana, including IFEJ, to support the regulators by bringing out the issues that require regulatory attention to the appropriate regulators.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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