Ghanaian law requires that a non-banking financial institution obtain a license in order to legally operate.
The law that governs the procedure for obtaining a Non-Banking Financial Institution License in Ghana is the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Act, 2008
Application and Licensing
In order to qualify for a license of this kind, an entity must be incorporated of the Companies Act 1963 with the purpose of operating a non-banking financial service, or, the business must be a credit union registered and incorporated the Co-Operative Societies Act 1968.
The first step to obtaining a license is to submit in writing an application to Bank of Ghana.
This application must be accompanied by various documents including but not limited to certified copies of the instruments of incorporation, information on the institution’s shareholders and key management, financial information and documents detailing various other aspects of the business and signed by members of the board of directors and other authorized agent of the business.
The Bank will have ninety days to review the submission and conduct an investigation. If a license is issued after investigations, it must be displayed in a conspicuous place on the premises of the place of business
Revocation of license
The Bank may revoke, suspend or restrict a license. In the case of revocation, a license may be revoked if the institution ceases to qualify for the license or for failing to comply with any of the conditions or requests of the Bank. After written notification, the institution will be given a time period within which to correct the problem. Pending the result of those remedial efforts, the license may be restored or revoked. If a party is dissatisfied with a decision to revoke, suspend, or restrict a license, they may apply for a review of the decision within thirty days after they have been informed of the decision. If the party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, they may then apply to the High Court for subsequent review.
An entity must maintain a minimum holding of liquid assets may not execute any transaction that in the aggregate exceeds a certain portion of the net worth of the institution.
The institution is required to have a board of directors comprised of no fewer than five members who are familiar with the financial operations of the institution. The institution is required to appoint an external auditor who must provide annual reports to the Bank for approval.
Powers of Supervision
All institutions licensed are subject to the supervision and control of the Bank. Failure by the institution to comply with the Bank’s supervision may result in fines or suspension or revocation of their license.
The Act provides that if an institution becomes insolvent, it should appoint a liquidator to wind up its affairs.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.