14.01.2011 Business & Finance

Barclays' offshore banking license set to be withdrawn

By myjoyonline
Barclays' offshore banking license set to be withdrawn
14.01.2011 LISTEN

Joy Business has gathered that Bank of Ghana is set to withdraw the license given to Barclays Bank to operate an offshore facility.

The bank as a result now reverts to its original “Class One” universal banking license just like all the other commercial banks.

Barclays was the only bank allowed to operate an offshore banking facility.

Joy News' George Wiafe reports there is general apprehension that the country is not ready for the service.

Officials are also said to be worried the country could be a haven for money launderers.

Another reason Joy Business has learnt is that managers of the economy are not so keen about the advantages of the facility.

The International Financial Services center provided banking services exclusively for people who are not resident in the country including Ghanaians abroad.

The centre, launched by Barclays Bank in 2007 was the first of its kind in Ghana and served as a vehicle to mobilize resources which otherwise would not be have been available to the country from people who live abroad.

The rationale behind the establishment of the center then was to position the country as an international financial hub for the region, just like it pertains in Dubai and Mauritius.

The facility was also to open the door for services like investment, insurance and securities.

Ghana was the only country in West Africa to operate such facility.

Sources at Barclays have meanwhile confirmed that the bank has received communication from the Bank of Ghana to withdraw the license.