The Bank of Ghana has extended the deadline for the re-licensing of Cooperative Credit Unions and Mutual Cooperatives Funds by one more year.

Such non-bank financial institutions were given up to the end of April this year to apply for new operating Licenses to operate.

But, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Cooperatives, Charles Boateng has disclosed to Radio Ghana that following an appeal by the Cooperative Credit Unions, the Bank of Ghana has given them a year’s lifeline to meet all the licensing requirement in accordance with Legislative Instrument 2225 in 2015 which establishes the Cooperative Credit Unions Supervising Agency at the Bank of Ghana to regulate activities and operations of Cooperative Credit Unions and Other Cooperative Financial Institutions in the country.

Until the new law, Cooperative Credit Unions and related non-bank financial institutions entities were directly under the supervision of the Department of Cooperatives.

The new legal regime is seen as having been occasioned by the DKM and God is Love crisis with the ultimate aim of averting a recurrence.

The Regional Director of the Department of Cooperatives described the central bank’s extended deadline for re-registration of the Cooperative Credit Unions as a sigh of great relief to the operators since they now have an opportunity to carefully comply with the law to remain in business.

Mr. Boateng disclosed that, as at the end of the 2018 April deadline, only 20 out of the about 200 such businesses in the Ashanti region had met the requirement indicating that most of the others would have been closed down with a serious economic implications for the thousands of Members and customers of the Credit Unions.

According to him, the major challenge that hindered the Unions from meeting the April deadline was what the operators described as a complex form which also requires higher competence and qualifications of Directors and Managers towards the protection of Members deposits.

Mr. Boateng said with the lifeline, his outfit is intensifying education on the new law and the Bank of Ghana’s licensing requirement.

The Regional Cooperative Director said however, that the Cooperative Credit Unions are reluctant to go into mergers and acquisitions as enshrined in the law.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Cooperatives has entreated Investment companies holding in trust funds of the Credit Unions to strictly comply with the terms of their agreement to ensure that the Unions are able to meet the cash needs of their Members and customers.

This, Mr. Boateng noted, will help to avoid the panic withdrawal syndrome collapsing some banks in the country. – GBC