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19.02.2004 Business & Finance

BOG introduces Credit Clearing System

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Accra, Feb. 18, GNA - The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has held a seminar to introduce the new Credit Clearing System to facilitate inter-bank credit transfers among commercial banks.

The new system is a process whereby a payer or sender initiates the movement of money from a bank to an account of a beneficiary in another bank's branch.

Briefing Branch Managers and Senior Bank officials of commercial banks in the country, Mr Stephen Tetteh, Senior Manager at the BoG, said credit transfers have until now, been on bilateral basis without formal clearing and settlement time frames.

"The new credit transfer system will be based on the paper credit transfer voucher and involve multilateral net clearing with settlement in Central Bank funds," he said, adding, "it will be similar to the cheque clearing, except that it is based on credit push instead of the current debit pull principle."

He explained that the system had been initiated back in 1997, aimed at reducing the 95 per cent cash payment transactions, which had dominated Ghana's monetary transactions.

The new credit transfer system would complement cheques and bankers' drafts and already operates in most European states as the GIRO system. Mr Tetteh said the system was ideal for transferring money to wards in schools, payment of utility bills, salary, fines, charges, penalties, registration fees, VAT and income tax.

Funds cold be transferred from one account to another in different banks and cash could be deposited at a bank for credit to an account held in another bank," he said.

On the issue of clearing periods, Mr Tetteh said transfers within the same clearing zone, would be credited to the account of the beneficiary the following day (D+1) while transfers from one inner zone to another would take three days (D+2).

Transfers between outer zones would take a maximum of six days. The participants called on the Central Bank to work at making the clearing period very specific since it could create problems between a bank and a beneficiary.

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