Examining the Role Commercial Banks in Ghana Play in Dealing With Money Laundering: A Case Study of Access Bank (Ghana) Limited

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Money Laundering has become a canker and a topical issue in the world today. There has been a rise in the level of financial crime and funds from illegal activities are concealed and channeled through the financial system and used to finance other illegal activities such as terrorism. As a result, the international community has put up a fight against money laundering and countries that have deficiencies in anti-money laundering procedures are classified as high-risk countries. The Bank of Ghana has recently taken the issue of money laundering more seriously to ensure a safe financial system in Ghana. The study examined the role commercial banks play in curbing money laundering and Access Bank was used as a case study. It employed the use of questionnaires, interview, literature review and observations through case study in obtaining information from Bank of Ghana, the Financial Intelligence Centre and Access Bank Ghana Limited. From the study, it was revealed that all financial institutions have some vital roles to play in the bid to eliminate money laundering in Ghana and the Bank of Ghana has specific guidelines for Banks to follow. These guidelines are in line with directives from the Financial Action Task Force. It was revealed that Access Bank has various anti-money laundering procedures. However some weaknesses exist in their procedures and the Bank experiences some genuine challenges in the discharge of its anti-money laundering roles. These were mainly as a result of weaknesses in the internal structures of the Bank such as technological deficiencies, inadequacy of skilled human resource; as well as non-co-operation from other stakeholders like colleague banks. It is recommended that Bank of Ghana makes it mandatory for all banks to procure and use an anti-money laundering software. The management of Access Bank should also support their Compliance and Internal Control Department with all requisite logistics to enable them discharge their anti-money laundering roles effectively.
A thesis submitted to the Institute Of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of COMMONWEALTH EXECUTIVE MASTERS OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION,2012