The power to sanction, it said, should complement the association’s current power, which borders only on partial regulation under the ultimate supervision of the BoG.
The General Secretary of the GCSCA, Mr Obed Yaw Asamany, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on the sidelines of a sensitisation workshop in Accra that the power to sanction was needed to ensure sanity in the operations of the collectors.
The aim of the workshop was to attain a comprehensive self-regulatory business environment to ensure proper sanity in the operation of susu and security of clients’ savings.
Following a review of the Non-Bank Financial Institution Act 2008 (Act 774), which included susu operations as a Tier 4 activity, and under that Tier category of the regulatory requirement; the GCSCA secured supervisory mandate from the central bank.
The Tier 4 comprises activities undertaken by individual susu collectors, susu enterprises, individual money lenders and money lending enterprises.
The Act states that all Tier 4 operators shall belong to an umbrella association such as GCSCA. Subsequently, the central bank directed the GCSCA to assume partial regulatory function of operators in the country under the supervision of BoG.
The general secretary also bemoaned the unwillingness of some members to belong to the association, explaining that such attitudes were inimical to its growth.
“Another challenge has been the collection and collation of statistical data from susu collectors. Some have suggested that the reporting scheme has been laborious and that has created difficulties for members to conform to the reporting practice,” he said.
Mr Asamany said those circumstances compromised the purpose and objectives of the self-regulation and supervision mandate delegated to the GCSCA.
Presently, a large number of susu collectors are operating without licences.
A study conducted on the industry revealed that only 472 operators out of a total of 1,500 had formal licences from the Bank of Ghana.
Mr Asamany indicated that the small number, which represents 31 per cent, implied that a large chunk of operators were not credible and as such the security of clients’ savings was not guaranteed.
“The GCSCA must be provided with the mandate to cause the arrest and prosecution of illegal collectors because of the central bank’s delay in taking action on illegal susu operators and that is affecting the compliance of our members,” he noted.
Reaction by Bank of Ghana
A representative from the Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Stephan Nortey, for his part noted that it was not the duty of the association to sanction individuals if they go contrary to the law.
He advised them to rather find an innovative approach to convince susu collectors who were not part of the umbrella body to join in order to sensitise the industry.
He also urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to request for licence or letter of introduction from the regulatory authority before registering susu collectors to operate in their locality.