Sanctions For Dollar Accounts Holders
8/8/2012 2:02:04 PM -
It is an outgrowth on the banking system in the country and if allowed to continue, it would erode confidence in our fiscal management module.
Holders of dollar accounts are individually met with the unexpected news at their various banks that they cannot access their monies when they show up to transact business.
Why? There is no dollar available to be withdrawn. In some instances, the cheeky remark that the Cedi is the medium of exchange and so the Cedi equivalent of the dollar in the individual accounts is what can be given out is what is hurled at curious customers.
How would the banks convince people to deposit their dollars into the hands of our banking system in future?
Have things degenerated so badly that we are almost on the verge of having to forfeiting our dollar holdings? Unfortunately, it is too late now to ask questions along those lines from the man who is now the Vice President.
The policy is his baby and as its repercussions are beginning to show, there is no way we cannot remember his stewardship at the apex bank.
If this is a means of stemming the unprecedented downward spiral of the Cedi, whoever came up with it has failed woefully.
There is a silent or even subtle measure by the Bank of Ghana to stem the fast depreciation of the value of the Cedi by restricting access of holders of dollar accounts to their deposits, a fact which was initially disputed through the usual press releases and PR interventions, at times using the propagandist at the government house.
We have heard customers of such accounts in the banks complaining about how, without warning, they have had to contain a situation where they are either told that they cannot withdraw their dollars or are asked to accept the cedi equivalent of the amount.
Most of these account holders with little or no confidence in the local currency have had to deposit their dollar holdings in such accounts so they can obviate the challenges of the falling cedi value.
Now they are devastated upon realising that they cannot withdraw the dollars they deposited. Are we on the verge of returning to the days when a certain cedi denomination was withdrawn from the system in a way which rendered many a Ghanaian businessman bankrupt?
We consider the ongoing painful measure not only improper but crude and unable to shore up the value of the Cedi.
It is a desperate measure which leaves the image of our fiscal management style in tatters. Perhaps, we would wake up one morning to be told that we can withdraw so much from our accounts. Desperate times indeed.