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STATEMENT: ACCESS Bank To Address Breaches Of Forex Exchange Act 2006   
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On 23 July 2012 the Bank of Ghana announced that it was suspending Access Bank Ghana (Limited) from engaging in foreign exchange business for six months as a result of past irregularities in providing foreign exchange services to certain of its customers.

In the course of its normal internal audit reviews, Access Bank (Ghana) identified certain foreign exchange transactions which contravened the Bank’s internal operating procedures and immediately brought its findings to the attention of the Bank of Ghana. It should be noted that Access Bank (Ghana) did not approve of, nor gain any financial profit or advantage from these irregularities.

The sanction announced by Bank of Ghana is currently expected to take effect on August 6, 2012. Access Bank (Ghana) has cooperated fully with the Bank of Ghana and is currently in discussions with the Bank of Ghana with a view to ensuring that the suspension is lifted as soon as possible.

Access Bank (Ghana) had earlier taken several measures, including disciplinary actions, limit reviews and additional risk mitigation processes, to ensure that our high standards and reputation for compliance are maintained. Access Bank (Ghana) will continue to collaborate with all relevant institutions to uphold the laws and regulations governing its operations.

In addition to significant actions to enhance its systems and controls, disciplinary action was taken against the individuals associated with the improper transactions, including Yomi Akapo, the former Managing Director, who had to leave the Bank.

Fees and commissions from foreign exchange transactions in Access Bank (Ghana) are a fraction of one percent of Access Bank’s Group income. Therefore, the financial implications of the sanction will be immaterial to Group results.

The Managing Director of the Access Bank (Ghana), Mr. Dolapo Ogundimu stated: “the actions which resulted in today’s announcement relate to past activities of certain individuals which regrettably fall short of Access Bank’s commitment to responsible banking practices. We have taken measures to ensure that the foreign exchange transactions of our customers will continue to be processed smoothly and without disruption.

“The Board of Directors of Access Bank Ghana who were briefed of the findings of our internal investigations, viewed them as serious and requiring the highest level of monitoring and supervision. Prompt and decisive measures were taken by the Board and Management to address all the issues.”
Source: Acc

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