The Code of Conduct provides foundational direction to what is expected from members, the consequences for violations and offers clear guidelines on Business Conduct and the Values that should be exhibited by members, Compliance with Legal Obligations, Customer Service, and Confidentiality of Customer Information among others.
A statement signed by Ms Kokui A. Adu, the Association’s Executive Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday said the AFH has resolved to go beyond mere compliance with laws and regulations.
“Trust and confidence in the industry is ensured through active self-regulation, appropriate industry standards and good corporate governance practices,” the statement said.
The association, which is a non-banking financial institution, is a registered entity which seeks to support all licensed Finance Houses in developing best operational practices, standards and policies for the growth and stability of member institutions, and the finance sector in general.
The statement said the association was serving as a self-regulatory body to promote values, principles and a common guidance for non-banking financial business.
“To live up to the legitimate expectation of the public, as key players in the financial services sector, the Association places strong emphasis on attitude, ethics and corporate governance in the conduct of members business,” the statement said.
The General Council of the Association of Finance Houses, in spite of the seemingly financial crisis the nation was experiencing, assured the public that the highest levels of professionalism, ethical conduct and good governance practices would be observed by its members who are licensed and regulated by the Bank of Ghana.
As a condition of membership, our members and their employees are in total compliance with all Laws, regulations, and Guidelines issued by the regulator (the Bank of Ghana).
It said, as a non-bank financial institution, Finance Houses actively participate in financial intermediation – attracting surplus funds from the general public and converting the funds into working capital for industry and other sectors for economic growth.
The statement said Finance Houses are an important part of financial markets of Ghana providing the funds needed by the start-up companies as working capital.
“Finance Houses are a source of liquidity that the financial markets depend on to function effectively,” the statement said.
The statement identified ten Finance Houses, which are: Dalex Finance and Leasing Company Limited; Alltime Finance Limited; AFB Ghana Limited; Blue Financial Services Ghana Limited; Chrisline Financial Services Limited; and Darfin Finance Company Limited.
The rest are: Forms Capital Limited; Ideal Finance Company Limited; IFS Financial Services Limited; JISLAH Financial Services; NDK Financial Services; SDC Finance Limited; and TF Financial Services.
It said, the recent occurrences in the financial sector, notably with some industry players in the Banking and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDI) sector, there has been the contagion effect on liquidity crisis spilling over to the sector.
The statement said the threat to the whole finance system cannot be underestimated. “We are currently discussing the challenges facing Finance Houses with the regulators and other stakeholder institutions for a resolution.
“We wish to assure our clients that, even though some of our members are facing unwarranted panic withdrawals, the majority of Finance Houses are in good standing and operating without any problems.
“We assure our clients of their payments upon maturity. It is therefore unnecessary to redeem, withdraw or disinvest if you do not have immediate need for your fund, as this has dire implications on liquidity and will aggravate the problem for even the strongest financial institution anywhere in the world”.
According to the statement, the Association undertakes to adhere to the industry’s expectation in the interest of all stakeholders; and work towards a strong, secure, stable and responsible financial services industry.
The Association also undertakes to ensure transparency and accountability in our business operations; contribute to fair competition; and avoid actions that promote short-term thinking that has the potential to harm the finance houses, stakeholders, and the financial sector in general in the longer term.
The statement said the association shall promote financial literacy among customers so that they can make informed financial decisions.