BoG committed to financial inclusion agenda – First Deputy Governor

The Bank of Ghana has engaged players in the financial space to address possible threats to the sector in order to achieve a sound and safe financial system.

To this end, the Central Bank, says it is committed in ensuring that its financial inclusion agenda is achieved in no time.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Regulatory Sandbox Engagement Forum held in Accra on Wednesday, on behalf of the first Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari, Head of FinTech and Innovation Office, Kwame Oppong, underscored the importance of such engagements with financial sector players.

He said digital financial services was promoting financial inclusion and bring the unserved and underserved segment of the society in the financial system.

“Ghana’s recent remarkable performance in financial inclusion from 58 per cent in 2017 to 68 per cent in 2021 as reported in the 2021 Global Findex has been largely facilitated by digital financial service,” he said.

The forum, sought to elicit the views of the players in the aforementioned sector in the implementation of the BoG Regulatory Sandbox.

BoG recently introduced the Regulatory Sandbox to create an enabling environment for innovators to test innovative financial products, services and business models in a controlled but live environment under the supervision of the Bank.

Dr Afari said the emergence of new technology had fuelled the digitalisation drive in the Ghanaian financial services industry with tremendous impact on efficiency and convenience.

He said to meet the changing needs of customers as well as address the challenges of the industry called for pragmatic and innovative solutions that confront the status quo.

“I must state that innovation and retooling of regulatory framework are not new to the Bank of Ghana. In fact, the bank has been at the forefront of innovation in the financial service industry for decades,” the First Deputy Governor, stated.

Dr Afari said the passage of the Payment Systems Act 2003(Act 662) in 2003, which had culminated in the establishment of the Ghana Inter-bank Payment and Settlement System infrastructure and the promotion of electronic payments laid a strong foundation for digital financial service in Ghana.

“Since then, many more innovations and corresponding enabling regulatory regime have been provided, of which Act 987 is the most recent. Clearly, these and many commitments, including the regulatory sandbox are evidence of the Bank’s response to the prevailing industry dynamics and encourage stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities Bank of Ghana has presented to inject some dynamism into their offerings through innovation,” he said.

He said the adoption of responsible innovation presented Fintechs opportunity to attract investments to expand and finance their business operations.

The First Deputy Governor stressed that the stakeholders’ engagement forum presented an opportunity to have an ongoing collaboration with industry to explore different perspectives and to work towards a common goal.

Dr Afari pledged that as a regulator of financial service, BoG maintained the highest level of confidentiality and secrecy, and would not expose the ideas of the Fintechs participating in the bank’s Regulatory Sandbox, to third parties.

The representatives of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Technology Chamber, Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network, Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies, in their remarks commended BoG for the implementation of the Regulatory Sandbox to nurture new ideas.

They also lauded the BoG for the forum to engage the players in the banking, fiancé and Fintech sectors to discuss ideas on how to move the sector forward.

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