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26.10.2007 Business & Finance

Parliament Examines Borrowers and Lenders Bill

By Daily Guide

Parliament will soon begin studying and examining the Borrowers and Lenders Bill, the Anti- Money Laundering Bill as well as the Non Bank- Financial Intermediaries Bill.

Players in the financial sector are hoping to see the passage of these three bills before the end of the year.

The majority of work is expected to be done by the Financial Committee of Parliament.

Officials of the Bank of Ghana, regulator of the banking industry as well as stakeholders in the financial industry had already met and discussed some modalities of the bills.

While the Borrowers and Lenders Bill will enforce collateral regulations, the Anti-Money Laundering Bill will seek to prohibit money laundering and related crimes such as terrorist financing.

The bill also seeks to establish a financial intelligence system to monitor, detect and expose such crimes for the necessary action to be taken.

The Non Bank- Financial Intermediaries Bill on the other hand is expected to strengthen and expand non-bank financial institutions in the country.

In recent times, players in the financial sector have expressed worry over the non-existence of a legislative framework for the Borrowers and Lenders Bill as well as the non-implementation of the Credit Reporting Law, so the passage of the bills would come as a huge relief to them.

The players have stated that the existence of such laws will protect the industry from financial losses. They believe that together with the Credit Reporting Law, they will be able to channel more resources to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

While Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of the HFC Bank informs CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE that the two legal provisions will help galvanize activities of financial intermediaries, Frank Adu Junior, Managing Director of Cal Bank has said the implementation of the two legal provisions will catapult the SMEs to play crucial roles in the Ghanaian economy.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana is preparing to begin implementation of the Credit Reporting Bill as it is considering giving approval to at least two of the three firms that have applied to run credit agencies in the country.

With the Credit Reporting Law, banks will have better information on the levels of indebtedness of borrowers before granting any loans.

It will in effect protect both depositors and lenders, and as a result improve compliance of borrowers with their agreed contracts with the banks.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah

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