Press highlights rising cases of fraud in banking industry, others

The report that the banking industry continues to record rising cases of fraud with the latest figure hitting GH¢I billion…

The report that the banking industry continues to record rising cases of fraud with the latest figure hitting GH¢I billion in 2020, compared to GH¢115.51 million recorded in 2019 and the proposal by the NLC for review of the Labour Act are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the banking industry continues to record rising cases of fraud, with the latest figure hitting GH¢I billion in 2020, compared to GH¢115.51 million recorded in 2019.

A total count of 2,670 cases of banking fraud were recorded in 2020, as compared to 2,311 reported cases in 2019.

In all, there were 2,670 cases of fraud reported in 2020, up from the 2,311 cases reported in 2019.

This is contained in the 2020 banking industry fraud report released by the Bank of Ghana.

According to the report, although the banking sector did not suffer any losses from any of the banking fraud attempts, it posed a reputational risk to some banks whose staff were found culpable in two of the three reported incidents.

The losses incurred as a result of fraud for 2020 stands at GH¢25.40 million, as compared to an estimated loss of GH¢33.44 million in 2019, representing a 24.0 per cent decrease.

The notable increase in the value of reported cases was as a result of high values recorded in attempted correspondent banking fraud through forgery of SWIFT advice.

The central bank attributes the steady rise of banking fraud to the use of poorly remunerated temporary staff who undergo limited background checks for sensitive tasks and a lack of corporate governance systems which would have helped to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency.

The newspaper says that the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has appealed to media practitioners to eschew misleading reports about the country’s economy, especially during this COVID-19 era.

The minister explained that such reportage if not curbed may drive away potential investors wishing to invest in the economy.

“The media employs the output of economic organisations, governments and companies in their coverage. How we report the aims, strategies and the evaluation of these policy interventions can fuel or distort the picture of and for the general public and in return become the new stimulus of how the economic actors, the general public and even the government further acts in this recovery cycle,” Mr Nkrumah made the appeal at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on August 24, in Accra.

On the theme: “Media and Marketing Communications post Covid-19: A Catalyst for Socio-Economic Resurgence,” the event brought together players in the private sector, policymakers and government officials to deliberate on how media and marketing communication can become the springboard for the revival and advancement of African businesses and economies in a post-COVID-19 era.

The minister said for any set of interventions to be successful as had been observed, it must gain the goodwill and support of the people.

The Graphic also reports that the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has awarded a grant of €100,000 for the training of 90 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana to improve on their competitiveness, including workplace practices.

The grant was made possible through the support of the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) to build the capacity of SMEs under an initiative dubbed: “Sustaining competitive and responsible enterprises (SCORE)”.

The programme will be implemented in partnership with the German Development Agency (GIZ) as part of an “Invest for Jobs” a programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Speaking to the media at the launch of the training programme in Accra yesterday, the Team Leader of Invest for jobs, Mr John Duti, said one of the key objectives of the programme was to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of SMEs, as well as their job-creation capacity. 

“We are, therefore, excited about this strong partnership with the MDPI and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to achieve these objectives,” he said.

Mr Duti explained that owing to the huge contribution of SMEs to Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP), the need to make them locally and internationally competitive could not be overemphasised.

The Times says that the National Labour Commission (NLC) is proposing a review of the Labour Act to include the appointment of permanent Commissioners for the speedy resolution of labour disputes.

Mr Ofosu Asamoah, Executive Secretary of the NLC, said the current law, which provides for seven part-time Commissioners, was obsolete and impeding the work of the Commission.

He said the provision was one of the challenges making it impossible for the NLC to resolve the 80 to 120 labour disputes recorded monthly. The labour disputes, he noted were mostly non-payment of salaries, unfair labour practices and termination, among others.

Speaking at a workshop on labour dispute resolution and settlement in Accra yesterday, he added that, the Commission was presently able to resolve about 40 of the cases received monthly.

The workshop was organised by the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) to educate members on disputes resolution and settlement in the wake of an upsurge in labour disputes following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The Commission is overwhelmed with a number of cases bordering on labour disputes. Unfortunately, the Commissioners are engaged on a part-time basis.

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