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BoG to review Cyber and Information Security Directive to ensure secured banking environment

The Bank of Ghana is currently in the process of reviewing the Cyber and Information Security Directive (CISD), 2018 to ensure that risk management practices is adhered to by all Regulated Financial Institutions (RFIs), whilst a secured environment is created within the “cyberspace”.

It is therefore admonishing all RFIs to pay particular attention to the increased cyber security risks and Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) issues associated with digitalization.

Speaking at the 2022 Ghana Credit Excellence Awards organised by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management, Freitas Donatus, Assistant Director, Banking Supervision Department of Bank of Ghana who spoke on behalf of the Governor of Bank of Ghana, said RFIs should be guided by this directive in order to minimise risks in their digital operations.

“Remaining competitive will largely require RFIs to continue investing in technologies that will not only enhance online and mobile banking capabilities, but also the overall customer experience. To this end financial institutions have various solutions at their disposal including”.

Accelerating digitalisation in the banking industry

Most financial institutions are digitising their risk functions at a relatively slow pace, taking modular approaches to targeted areas; and the banking sector is no exception. Mr. Donatus said the Bank of Ghana’s Risk Management Directive, 2021 (RMD) offers guidance to RFIs to develop robust Risk Management Frameworks (RMFs) to aid in identifying, measuring, evaluating, controlling, mitigating and reporting material risks within their institutions.

Again, credit delivery is hampered by manual processes for data collection, underwriting, and documentation, as well as data issues affecting risk assessment and the slow cycle times affecting the customer experience.

The Deputy Director of the Banking Supervision urged RFIS to employ Digital Credit Risk Management since it employs automation, connectivity, and digital delivery as well as decision making to alleviate these bottlenecks.

In this regard, he explained that value is created in three ways by protecting revenue, improving risk assessments, and reducing operational costs.

BoG to continue to build robust financial sector

Going forward, he said the Bank of Ghana would continue to ensure collaboration with other financial sector regulators to focus their attention on business model viability, Governance, Risk Management, Consumer Protection, Cyber Security and Regulatory Sandboxes on Market Development and Innovation to build the necessary safeguards against emerging risks.

The potential of the banking and financial services sector to advance digitalisation has been demonstrated on the continent.

The Bank of Ghana added that it has adopted a forward-looking approach to regulation and will continue to encourage the sector players to follow suit in pursuit of the advancement and development of the financial services sector.

Ghana Credit Excellence Awards

The 2022 Ghana Credit Excellence Awards which was under the “Accelerating Digital Transformation in the Banking and Financial Services Industry: From Crisis to Growth” aimed at ensuring robust risk management practices by RFIs and pay particular attention to increase cyber security risk and AML/CFT issues associated with digitalization.

The ceremony also provided an opportunity for networking among players and open dialogue between stakeholders in the banking and specialised deposit-taking institutions sectors that focus on integrating cyber and information security process and leveraging on third-party Payment Services Providers and Electronic Money Issuers to provide value added service to their customers.

Access Bank PLC was the SME Bank of the Year, whilst Ghana Import – Export Bank was the Agribusiness Bank of the Year. Bank of Africa was the Best Bank in Trade Finance whereas Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank PLC was the Rural Bank of the Year.

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