By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The forex licence of Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited has been suspended by the Bank of Ghana for infractions, Business Post has learned.
The lender has also been fined by Ghana’s central bank alongside First National Bank Ghana Limited for the same offence.
The two financial institutions were accused of breaching sections 3.4, 3.5, and 3.9 of the Ghana Interbank Forex Market Conduct Rules.
They will not be allowed to operate in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market from Thursday, June 29, to Friday, July 28, 2023.
Section 3.4 requires Licensed Foreign Exchange Dealers (LFXDs) “to update indicative quotes for buying and selling US dollars at regular intervals, on the Reuters and Bloomberg information systems. Indicative quotes shall be updated at intervals of no more than 30 minutes.”
Also, Section 3.5 mandates that “all interbank FX trades must be booked on the Reuters platform and appropriately confirmed within five (5) minutes after the trade is concluded. These trades must also be reported in the daily FX report submitted to the Bank of Ghana.”
According to BoG, Fidelity Bank and First National Bank violated these rules, and as a result, they have been fined a combined point of 1,000 each.
“Bank of Ghana has fined Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited and First National Bank Ghana Limited a combined 1000 penalty points each for breaching sections 3.4, 3.5, and 3.9 of the Ghana Interbank Forex Market Conduct Rules.
“In addition, the bank has suspended the forex licences of the above-mentioned banks from june 29 2023, to July 28, 2023.
“By this notice, we caution forex market players, including banks, forex bureaux, forex brokers, and money transfer operators (MTOs) to adhere strictly to the application forex market regulations and guidelines,” the notice signed by the scribe of BoG, Ms Sandra Thompson, said.
In reaction, Fidelity Bank apologised to its customers for “any inconvenience this announcement may have caused, and we reassure all our valued customers that we are actively engaging the Bank of Ghana to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
It stated that, “While we address the reporting concerns raised by our regulator, we have in the interim reached agreements with our partner banks to aid in seamless completion of foreign exchange transactions on behalf of Fidelity Bank.”
Fidelity Bank, which commenced business in October 1998 as a Discount House, is a household name in Ghana, especially in the financial services sector. It obtained a universal banking license on June 28, 2006, and established Fidelity Asia Bank Limited (FABL) in Labuan, Malaysia in July 2012 as a wholly-owned Asian subsidiary in Malaysia.