Operating A Forex Bureau In Ghana
Relevant statutory guidelines for operating a Forex Bureau under Ghanaian law are found in the Foreign Exchange Act 2006 (Act 723).
The Act defines the business of dealing in foreign exchange as:
• The purchase and sale of foreign currency
• The receipt or payment of foreign currency
• The importation or exportation of foreign currency
• The lending and borrowing of foreign currency
A business wishing to conduct any of these activities must apply for a license with the Bank of Ghana, which has licensing, regulatory, and supervisory authority over Forex Bureaus. This means that the Bank of Ghana may make rules to proscribe the conditions required to carry out the business of foreign exchange transfers. The application must be done in the manner prescribed by the bank and will be granted if all of the conditions are satisfied and the appropriate fees have been paid. If the license is granted, it is valid for one year unless it is renewed. Renewals must be applied for at least sixty days from the time the license is set to expire. Bank of Ghana may also refuse applications for a license. These refusals may be reviewed by request in writing upon which, a panel will be convened to prepare a report to be presented to the Minister.
Licenses are non-transferable and the Bank of Ghana may suspend or revoke a license if the licensee contravenes any part of the Act or meets one of several conditions that may trigger revocation. If an aggrieved person wishes to challenge the decision of the Bank, they may submit a petition for review. If the Bank fails to answer the petition in a timely manner, the petitioner may appeal to the Court.
If the Governor determines that the country has experienced or is experiencing severe deterioration in the balance of payments, the governor may make rules to restrict various operations of Forex Bureaus.
The Bank may require information or data relating to various financial aspects of the bureau including but not limited to: electronic media, books, accounts, and documents.
Any offense committed by the bureau under this Act may be subject to sanctions, be order to comply with the requests of the Bank, or may be ordered to produce documents.
AUTHOR: AB Lexmall & Associates