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09.02.2005 Business & Finance

High tax, unclear laws killing corporate governance - Trust Boss

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Accra, Feb. 9, GNA - Lack of conducive economic environment and inadequate company structures continue to weaken good corporate governance practice of organisations in the country, Mr Paul Cardoen, Managing Director of The Trust Bank said on Wednesday.

"High tax and unemployment, unclear legislations, low income markets, cash based informal economies" are some of the main issues the Trust Bank Boss highlighted as key hurdles in practicing good corporate governance in the country.

Addressing officials from senior level management of financial, commercial and corporate institutions at a day's conference, Mr Cardoen also pointed out that most organisations had highly centralised management style and plurality of responsibilities, which had contributed to the situation.

The conference organised by the bank was under the theme, "Promoting Sound Corporate Governance, and Risk Management in Ghanaian Institutions".

Mr Cardoen placed most of the problems hampering good corporate governance at the doorsteps of organisations' management and boards of directors citing role conflicts between them as well as competence weaknesses saying they had led to disappointing performance, unsuccessful mergers, various frauds embezzlements and financial difficulties.

Mr Cardoen gave several definitions of corporate governance and classified them under three major groupings: optimising the organisation or the institution's returns, guidance and control, and relations between agents.

He said when management and boards decided to be interested in corporate governance, it eventually enhances effectiveness, efficiencies and company performance.

Besides, he said, "It is critical for giving or maintaining customer and investor confidence, promotes competitiveness and creates environmentally and socially responsible corporate organisations..." On ethics of conduct, Mr. Cardoen said there was the need for every organisation to place it as one of the procedures in an effective internal control structure of the corporate governance system.

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