Cedi depreciation: GUTA president urges BoG to ease stringent money exchange regulations

President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has called on the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to relax the stringent documentation requirements businesses must follow to exchange money. 

Speaking on PM Express on JoyNews, Dr Joseph Obeng said the current regulatory framework inadvertently drives more traders to engage with forex bureaus and the black market rather than mainstream banks.

He noted that “one thing that the Bank of Ghana is doing is that they do not recognise that we trade more with the forex bureaus and the black market than the mainstream banks.

“Because you know, the fear factor there is the documentation, the requirement, stringent documentation. They have to relax their stringent documentation.”

“If you make a stringent documentation requirement, then people do not transact through the banks. For the Bank of Ghana what you need is a bill of lading and then your transactional value, that should be enough for you. People will not be panicked about whatever the accounting aspect of all that.”

Dr Obeng further argued that the core mandate of the central bank dealing with businesses when it comes to foreign exchange should not be to do the accounting for every transaction in detail. 

“Bring our document and all that is for GRA to do that. And they do post-clearance audits, and all that, all the time. Yours is to track the transactions that we do,” Dr. Obeng stated.

The current regulatory environment has led to a significant volume of trade being conducted in the black market rather than through formal banking channels. 

“So Bank of Ghana is making a very serious mistake to the extent that people, when they get money, instead of pushing it through the banks, they just go and give it to the black market,” he said.

Dr Obeng warned that the current situation causes the volume of trade to be centred on the black market more than the banking sector, undermining the effectiveness of the Bank of Ghana’s monetary policies. 

“if you mention the bank rate is GH¢14.3, nobody is even excited because they won’t transact through there (banks). But then there are the black market people who are detecting this pace, and we should know and observe this,” Dr. Obeng concluded.

This comes after the Ghana cedi weakened further against the US dollar and other major foreign currencies as corporate demand soared in the past month.

But JoyBusiness reports that depreciation pressures on the cedi have slowed down as a result of improved foreign exchange (FX) liquidity,

This, the report, attributed to a significant intervention by the Bank of Ghana on the market last week, providing about $59 million on the spot market and auctioning $20 million to the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies.

The move by the central bank marked the most significant support provided in a week since the beginning of 2024.

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