The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has by the end of the year 2021 secured monetary compensations and refunds totalling about GH₵7.9 million for complainants.
Regulated Financial Institutions (RFI) paid complainants whose complaints were lodged, investigated, and found justifiable based on the BoG market conduct rules for its regulated entities.
A breakdown of the total amount, which was captured in the annual Report on Complaints Management Function released by the Financial Stability Department of the BoG showed that £20,414.37, USD$250,000.00 and GH¢5,738,484.42 were paid.
In all, 857 complaints against 876 recorded in 2020 were received where there were 265 credit reports complaints, 207 cases on matured investment, 134 complaints on unfair practices, 139 reports on the credit facility and 112 complaints relating to Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
“The 2.17 per cent decline in total complaints lodged may be attributed to the strict enforcement of the first level complaint handling by Financial Institutions based on the guidelines coupled with the successful resolution of most of the complaints by the RFIs” the report stated.
The Bank also noted 65 per cent of total complaints recorded were resolved as at the end of 2021 compared with 79 per cent of resolutions in the year 2020.
It was also revealed that 373 complaints were received from customers of banks representing 44 per cent of total complaints received by the Bank in the year under review.
“87 per cent of these complaints were resolved compared with the previous year’s position of 96 per cent resolved complaints, thus resulting in a marginal drop of 9 per cent,” the report noted.
Within the year under review, the Bank had made 50 referrals to other entities such as a receiver, which had 19 referrals, the Securities and Exchange Commission with 26 complaints, Credit Union Association with three complaints referred and the Ghana National Fire Service and the Teachers Fund receiving a complaint each.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank suspended in-person mediation meetings and resorted to virtual meetings and the creation of WhatsApp platforms to facilitate the complaint handling process.
The Central Bank also indicated that it was in advance preparation to improve complaint lodging convenience with the implementation of a full-fledged Contact Centre, the deployment of the new complaint management software and a ChatBot solution to augment the channels of complaints.
“Additionally, the Bank of Ghana will continue to organise regular workshops for Consumer Reporting Officers and Compliance Officers of regulated institutions tailored to the feedback obtained, among others, in a bid to permanently address the issues as they emerge.
“The Bank of Ghana will continue to sensitise consumers on their rights and responsibilities to promote financial literacy and capability and reduce complaints,” the report indicated