In the quest to enhance the corporate governance practices of savings and loans companies, a training programme to educate directors of Savings and Loans (S&L) companies has been held in Accra.
The training, which comes in the wake of the banking sector reforms, is to primarily enhance the knowledge of the directors of S&L companies on the Bank of Ghana’s Corporate Governance Directive for Banks, Savings and Loans, Finance Houses and Financial Holding Companies.
Facilitated by Purple Almond Consulting, the training is an initiative of GIZ, the German Development Agency, in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASALC) and the Bank of Ghana.
The training, which was rolled out in sessions of three, received over 120 directors from over 30 S&L companies with high enthusiasm.
Mrs Florence Hope-Wudu, Managing Consultant for Purple Almond Consulting, in her remarks at the opening session, said in view of the recent wave of banks’ failures and the ensuing regulatory changes, corporate boards in Ghana have been faced with an increasing number of demands to act responsibly.
As a result, she said companies now required a more detailed agendum for their board directors, requiring deeper reviews of board papers, policy topics, internal controls and director performance evaluations.
“Directors are being asked to devote more time to their duties and limit other boards’ engagements to enable them serve diligently,” she added.
She advised that although the regulator has defined principles as best practice for the S&L sector, “boards should strive to outperform these prescribed principles. The directive should be seen as the minimum standard to benchmark practices in the sector.”
According to her, as a governance professional, she has found in her practice that corporate governance is more of a behavioural issue.
“We can only deal with this if at the end of the day, we have good managers, good CEOs, good board members in order to create the strong business cultures that are needed to build good institutions. As it is said, good people make up good institutions,” she stressed.
Mr Elliot Amoako, Deputy Director of Banking Supervision, Bank of Ghana, described the training programmes as a timely intervention in safeguarding the operations of savings and loans companies.
Citing the case of the collapsed banks, he attributed the failings of the banks to weak corporate governance structures and non-adherence to regulations.
Mr Kwaku Duah Berchie, Chairman of GHASALC, expressed the commitment of the GHASALC members to the training programme because of the importance of corporate governance to the survival of their companies.
He was optimistic that the directors would derive a better appreciation of good corporate governance through the training.
According to the GIZ office in Ghana, the objectives of the training were in line with its desired support for the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.
It is of the view that because of the key role S&L companies play in financing SMEs, it remained critical to support interventions that aim at sustaining the operations of the savings and loans firms.
By Times Reporter