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BoG warns against persons selling foreign currencies illegally

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The Bank of Ghana (BOG) continues its financial literacy education as it schools the public on Forex Bureau.

According to BOG, it is unlawful for any person or business to engage in the business of buying and selling of foreign currency without a license from the Central Bank.

Consequently, the BOG states emphatically that it “is punishable upon summary conviction, by a fine or a prison term of not more than eighteen months, or both”.

Also, the BOG indicates that forex bureaux must always display their licenses in their premises. Likewise, BOG urges all forex bureau to affix the forex bureaux logo in front of their premises.

Meanwhile, BOG warns the public to desist from dealing with unauthorized dealers.

“It is prohibited by law to buy or sell foreign currency to or from an unlicensed person or entity. Report such illegal activities to the Financial Stability Department of Bank of Ghana”.

Need for an ID card

Moreover, BOG encourages customers to always go to the forex bureau with their ID Cards. It however advised customers to report any forex bureau that does not ask for such particulars before conducting any transaction.

“You will be required to provide identification documents before conducting any transaction with a forex bureau. Identification documents include passport, driver’s license, voter’s ID and the National ID card. If your forex bureau does not require ID from you, or does not retain a copy of your ID, please report them”.

Also, the Bank highlights that subject to availability, “you can obtain foreign currency from only authorized dealer banks and forex bureau”. But it adds that this is only possible “after providing all relevant documentation”.

The Bank of Ghana also cautions against ‘black-market’ operators, advises the public to shun such people. Accordingly, BOG highlights several implications of dealing with such unscrupulous persons in the market.

“A ‘black-market’ operator is an illegal foreign exchange dealer who does not have Bank of Ghana’s license. Please avoid them.

“Beware! You are likely to trade in fake currency, be drawn into money laundering, terrorist financing or be attacked by armed robbers when you do business with a ‘black-market’ operator”.

The Ghana Cedi as the sole legal tender in Ghana

Of late, it is very common to see people in Ghana pricing their goods and services in foreign currencies. Some schools and even restaurants and hotels, price their services in foreign currencies. However, the Bank of Ghana has issued a strong warning against such an act.

“The sole legal tender in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi and the Ghana Pesewa. It is prohibited to price, advertise, and demand payment for goods and services in foreign currency”.

Furthermore, the Bank clarifies that licenses issued to forex bureaux by the Bank of Ghana permits them “to engage ONLY in on-the-spot selling and buying of foreign currencies”. As such, BOG indicates that forex bureau does not have the right to engage in other financial activities aside this.

“You cannot deposit Ghana Cedis with a forex bureau at an agreed rate and collect the foreign currency equivalent at a later date”.

Maximum amount per transaction

Likewise, the Bank of Ghana has assured customers of the safety of any personal information they provide to forex bureaux under the Data Protection Act. Consequently, BOG urges the public to “report any mishandling of your personal information to the Bank of Ghana”.

Finally, the Bank indicates that any person in Ghana can transact with any licensed forex bureau or bank . It also highlights the maximum transaction that the law permits in the country.

“Any person (resident and non-resident) who wishes to transact any business in Ghana should exchange their foreign currency for Ghana cedis at any licensed forex bureau or bank. The maximum amount per transaction at a forex bureau should not exceed US$10,000”.

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