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    HomeGovernance, Policy & Regulations ForumPolicy & Regulations ForumFinTech Startups in Ghana Face Regulatory Sanctions After Partnering with Local Banks

    FinTech Startups in Ghana Face Regulatory Sanctions After Partnering with Local Banks

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    In a move to uphold regulatory standards and safeguard the integrity of Ghana’s financial sector, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has levied fines on several Payment Service Providers (PSPs). These fines were imposed due to the PSPs’ failure to adhere to regulatory protocols when onboarding micro-credit and microfinance institutions without prior confirmation of their status with the central bank.

    A letter dated April 3, 2024, addressed to “All Payment Service Providers,” served as a stern warning from the BoG regarding the non-compliant actions of certain PSPs. The central bank emphasized that these actions contravened the Payment Systems and Services Act of 2019, Act 987, posing significant risks to the country’s financial ecosystem.

    While the letter, signed by the Head of the Fintech and Innovation Office of the BoG, Kwame Oppong, did not specify the exact fines imposed, affected PSPs disclosed that they had indeed been penalized for the violations. However, the specific amounts of the fines were not disclosed.

    In addition to imposing fines, the BoG issued a cautionary directive to all PSPs, urging them to conduct Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) on all current and prospective financial service partners before onboarding them. This EDD process mandates a thorough assessment of partners’ license status, as well as confirmation of their authorization from the BoG to engage in proposed activities.

    The BoG reiterated the urgency of compliance, stressing the importance of prompt attention and full cooperation from all stakeholders to ensure the safety and integrity of Ghana’s financial service industry.

    This regulatory crackdown comes amid the increasing integration of FinTech startups with traditional financial institutions in Ghana. While such partnerships hold promise for financial inclusion and innovation, they also underscore the need for stringent regulatory oversight to mitigate potential risks.

    The BoG’s actions underscore its commitment to maintaining a robust and secure financial ecosystem, where innovative solutions can thrive within a framework of regulatory compliance and accountability.

    As the FinTech landscape continues to evolve in Ghana, regulatory adherence will remain a cornerstone for sustainable growth and stability in the financial sector. Compliance with regulatory requirements not only fosters trust and confidence among consumers but also bolsters Ghana’s position as a conducive environment for FinTech innovation and investment.

    Charles Rapulu Udoh is a Lagos-based lawyer, who has several years of experience working in Africa’s burgeoning tech startup industry. He has closed multi-million dollar deals bordering on venture capital, private equity, intellectual property (trademark, patent or design, etc.), mergers and acquisitions, in countries such as in the Delaware, New York, UK, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, South Africa, Nigeria etc. He’s also a corporate governance and cross-border data privacy and tax expert. As an award-winning writer and researcher, he is passionate about telling the African startup story, and is one of the continent’s pioneers in this regard.

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