The Ghana International Bank (GHIB) says it has reached a settlement agreement with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in its investigation into GHIB’s unsatisfactory anti-money laundering (AML) controls.
The FCA had earlier fined the bank 5.8 million pounds after discovering some deficiencies in its anti-money laundering systems.
Between January 2012 and December 2016, the bank did not adequately perform the additional anti-money laundering checks required, the FCA said.
But GHIB, in a statement on Thursday, June 23, 2022, said it accepts responsibility for the development and has taken steps to improve its controls.
“GHIB accepts full responsibility for its historic failings and, under the terms of the agreement, has agreed to pay a civil penalty totaling £5,829,900. The FCA noted in its findings that GHIB has since taken significant steps in improving its AML systems and controls. It also said that GHIB and its senior management had worked in an open and cooperative way with the regulator, including by notifying the FCA of its AML shortcomings. It should also be noted that no evidence was found of GHIB facilitating any money laundering or other financial crime,” the bank said in a statement.
Among the steps it has taken, the bank said it has appointed a new Board with independent directors and enhanced its risk management framework.
“Since the period under investigation, the bank has appointed a completely new Board, with three new independent non-executive directors, and is also under new management with a new CEO, COO, CRO and MLRO. GHIB has also significantly strengthened its AML systems and controls, introduced an enhanced risk management framework and increased the number of staff, particularly in key control and regulatory functions,” the bank’s statement added.
Its Chief Executive, Dean Adansi said, “GHIB takes its compliance with anti-money laundering regulations extremely seriously and we are pleased to have come to a resolution with the FCA over these historic issues. We have invested considerable resources in our risk management systems and controls, and have built up a strong team within the bank. Under new leadership, GHIB is a fundamentally different bank today, with a healthy balance sheet and the support of its major shareholders, and we are looking forward to supporting our clients as the bank of choice, and trusted partner in Africa.”
Meanwhile, Dr Ernest Addison, the Chairman of the bank, said: “GHIB provides critical correspondent banking services to financial institutions and corporations both within Ghana and across the region. The past few years have been a transformative time for the bank, and GHIB has never been in a stronger position than it is today. The strategic investments that GHIB has made in its people, systems and processes, accompanied by its recent recapitalisation, will serve to underpin the critical role that the bank plays in the Ghanaian economy.”