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No ID, no service at Forex bureaux – BoG announces new rules

The Bank of Ghana has announced a new set of directives to guide operations of Forex Bureau operations in the country.

Why

According to the Bank of Ghana, the move is part of measures to enforce compliance by all licensed Forex Bureaux with the Forex Bureau Regulations issued in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723), and the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749) as amended,

Areas to be covered

According to the regulator, all transaction must be captured electronically with receipts issued as well. Customers must also provide valid National ID to aid all transaction. The Central Bank argues that it would deal with any individual found engaging unlicensed operators. Any forex Bureau that fails to comply would also be sanctioned, face suspension and revocation of license.

How it would be implemented

1. All purchases and sales of forex must be captured electronically and receipted accordingly by licensed Forex Bureaux.

2. All customers must provide valid national identification or other valid personal ID such as Voter’s ID, Passport or Driver’s Licence when engaging in forex transactions with Forex Bureau.

3. All licensed Forex Bureaux must submit the required monthly returns electronically to the Bank of Ghana within five (5) working days after the end of the month.

4. All licensed Forex Bureaux must complete and submit a licence renewal questionnaire two (2) months before the expiration of the current licence. The questionnaire must be submitted together with the following attachments:

a. Copy of Tax Clearance Certificate
b. Copy of Insurance Certificate
c. Extract of Audited Accounts
d. Bank Statements
e. Proof of filing of Annual Returns at the Registrar General’s Department

5. All licensed Forex Bureau must comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) and must register with the Data Protection Commission of the Ministry of Communication as a key requirement for annual license renewal.

Sanctions for defaulters

The Bank of Ghana in the circular issued and signed by its secretary said that
Any person found transacting business with an unlicensed Forex Bureau or illegal forex dealers shall be dealt with in accordance with the Laws of Ghana.

Failure to comply with this Notice shall attract penalties, including pecuniary sanctions, suspension and revocation of licence in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act 2006, (Act 723).
All licensed Forex Bureaux and General Public shall note and strictly comply.

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