Financial analysts and some bank customers in the country are preparing to press on the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for a better financial mediator to help aggrieved bank customers get their challenges resolved.

Dr Henry Wampah-Governor of Bank of Ghana under pressure
Dr Henry Wampah-Governor of Bank of Ghana under pressure

This, follows recent outcry over high charges, wrongful deductions and hidden charges imposed on unsuspecting Ghanaians who deal with financial institutions.

Observations made by Business Day indicate that most bank customers are unaware of the Consumer Protection Unit of the Bank of Ghana responsible for protecting the interest of the banking population.

Banking consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong, in a recent publication blamed the Central Bank for its inability to educate the public on the channels to go through to seek redress over wrongful deductions from accounts of customers.

Mr. Acheampong who backed a call for an independent arbiter to address the concerns of customers admitted that customers allow themselves to be cheated because they think no outfit exists to fight for their (customers) course.

Adding his voice the call, former Foreign Affairs Minister in the erstwhile Kufour?s administration, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyemang proposed the formation of a financial services authority to check the inefficiencies of banks and other financial institutions in the country.

According to him, the proposal, if pushed through, will protect the customer from the non-performance of banks in the country.

He accused the banks of exploiting their customers in the absence of such an authority, which he explained must be independent of the Central Bank.

Mr. Owusu Agyemang recalled how several attempts to get such an authority established about four years ago hit a snag because it would require a charge on the consolidated fund.

However, speaking in an interview with Business Day, Financial Analyst and banker, Mr. Raymond Addai-Danquah stated that some banks have provided a cure for grievances of customers by providing relationship managers.

?The whole idea of the relationship manager is aimed at creating a direct link between a customer and the bank to enable banks solve the problems customers face?, he said.

Even though Mr. Addai-Danquah admitted some bank staffs could cheat a customer, he maintained that most wrong deductions and high charges happen erroneously.

He cited for example that he has personally helped a customer whose account was wrongly deducted for an ATM transaction that was incomplete.

?The issue also is that most customers do not report strange deductions to the bank?that is the attitude of majority of the banking population? he said.

By?LAWRENCE SEGBEFIA

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