Governor of BoG charges banks to mitigate cyber risks as online banking increases

The Govcernor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison has said increasingly, the banking sector has witnessed the increased usage of online bankin

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The Govcernor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison has said increasingly, the banking sector has witnessed the increased usage of online banking as customers resort to branchless banking for transactions.

Banks, he said, have also been compelled to increase investments and upgrades of digital platforms to remain competitive.

These positive developments to broaden the scope of financial services, digitisation and the shift to virtual platforms have come with inherent cyber risks which banks need to work assiduously to mitigate, Dr Addison said.

He added that the BoG has provided the supportive directives, regulations, policies and guidelines on Cyber Security to safeguard the financial sector against such risks, but banks must also be proactive and strengthen internal risk management frameworks, as well as build a robust and secure digital infrastructure to forestall cybercrime incidences.

“It is also essential that comprehensive and stringent KYC procedures are implemented to improve banks’ customer acceptance policy. These will help prevent suspicious customers from pursuing fraudulent activities, including money laundering, terrorist financing and credit
fraud, through the banking sector,” he said while commissioning the Republic Bank Ghana limited, head office annex at ridge in Accra on Friday January 28.

He further indicated that it has been almost two years since the comprehensive reforms to restore credibility and confidence in the banking system.

Since then, the Bank of Ghana has issued a number of directives, including the exposure draft of the Corporate Governance Disclosure
Requirements which seeks to promote and enhance transparency and accountability to stakeholders, Dr Addison added.

“The Bank of Ghana continues to keenly monitor all banks to ensure the stability and soundness of the industry. In reference to Republic Bank, comparative performance indicators based on the bank’s prudential returns show significant growth in assets and deposits, notwithstanding the challenging economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The bank recorded strong deposit growth of 15.6 percent in the last quarter of 2021 due to the enhanced mobilization strategy. Total Assets also grew by 71.7 percent over the same review period, and the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 23.7 was above the regulatory requirement as at end December 2021.”