The Bank of Ghana has abolished some unfair fees and charges among other practices in the banking sector, in an effort to protect the public.
In a notice, the central bank highlighted that maintenance fees on savings accounts charged by financial institutions are prohibited.
“Always look out for debits on your account and report any suspicious or unapproved charges/debits to your financial institution,” BoG says.
However, the bank emphasised that customers must be aware that additional services such as transaction alert, Internet banking, among others, being provided by financial institutions may attract fees and charges on their account – adding, however, that customers should always assess their needs before subscribing to such services.
Per the notice, financial institutions are not allowed to charge any penal charge when customers walk into the banking hall to withdraw funds from their own account over the counter.
Thus, the Bank said, customers must always insist on their rights and report any breach to it.
“Your request for your account balance from the banking hall of your financial institution should not attract any fee or penalty,” the BoG said.
In the case of handling collateral assets, the Bank said it is unlawful for a financial institution to effect a change in the legal title of your asset (vehicle, landed property and others) used as collateral into the joint names of the financial institution and customer, or into the name of the financial institution or any third party.
“Always demand the Annualized Percentage Rate (APR) on your loan from your financial institution prior to acceptance of the loan facility. It will help you know how much the loan will cost you after the duration of the loan. It is a legal requirement for your financial institution to provide you with this information before you sign your loan contract,” the bank advised.
“It is unlawful for a financial institution to quote its interest rate on a monthly, daily or other basis apart from annual.
“If you do not pay your loan on time, you may be subject to paying penal charges. You shall, however, pay any penal charge only on the amount you delayed in paying and not on the total outstanding loan amount. Late payment of a loan installment could affect your credit risk profile, as it is required to be reported to a credit bureau licensed by the Bank of Ghana,” the statement said.