Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison, has in a recent keynote address at the 27th National Banking and Ethics Conference, emphasised the pivotal role of professionalism as a cornerstone in the banking sector.
The address, delivered by Mr. Bernard Otabil, Head of the Ethics and Internal Investigations Office of the Bank of Ghana, delved into the multifaceted nature of professionalism beyond academic qualifications.
Dr. Addison underscored that professionalism extends beyond degrees and certificates, encompassing the attitudinal and behavioral conduct of individuals within their respective professions.
He asserted that educational certifications confer professions, not professionals.
According to him, a comprehensive understanding of professionalism involves adherence to codes of ethics and a commitment to core values such as accountability, respect, self-regulation, honesty, and integrity in the workplace.
The governor emphasised the symbiotic relationship between professionalism and ethics, stating that true professionalism cannot exist without a strong ethical foundation.
He highlighted the collaboration between the Bank of Ghana, the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana, and the Ghana Association of Banks in the launch of the Ghana Banking Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. This code aims to reinforce provisions in the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana, Act 2019 (Act 991) and promote high ethical standards within the banking industry.
Dr. Addison advocated a holistic risk management approach within the banking sector, urging the assessment and management of culture and conduct risks.
He pointed out that unethical behaviors often stem from a variety of cultural factors, necessitating diligent management similar to other types of risks.
The governor disclosed that the Bank of Ghana actively monitors ethical conduct among regulated institutions and has implemented an internal Ethics and Compliance Programme. This program aims to cultivate an ethical culture among Bank staff, aligning their behavior with the standards expected from a regulator in the banking industry.
Dr Addison stressed the interconnectedness of professionalism, ethics, and risk management in ensuring a robust and reputable banking sector.