The Bank of Ghana (BoG) claims that no real estate company in the country has been licensed to assess or transact in foreign currencies.
BoG’s head of financial stability noted that while some hoteliers have been allowed to trade currencies for convenience, these organizations are being closely monitored.
Dr. Jospeh France explained that such measures were part of the Central Bank’s desire to step up supervision and break the whip on the black market.
Ghana’s Foreign Exchange Act 2006 (Act 723) prohibits businesses and individuals from engaging in foreign exchange transactions without the permission of the Central Bank.
This legislation also prohibits the pricing and advertising of goods and services in foreign currencies.
However, in Ghana, many real estate agencies and hoteliers often find themselves charging mortgages, rents and leases in dollars.
In an interview on JoyNews The pulseOn Thursday, Dr. France pointed out that even agencies and organizations that transact in foreign currencies do not get these permits for free.
“I don’t know of any approved real estate establishments; so if a real estate institution is trading Forex, then that real estate is trading Forex illegally and should be reported to law enforcement,” he said.
Addressing the implications of illegal forex trading on Ghana’s economy, he noted that “once you dollarize your economy it means you weaken your cedi and if you weaken your cedi then you make everything expensive for your citizens”.
An earlier BoG statement warned businesses, institutions and individuals against foreign exchange business without a license issued by the Bank of Ghana.
The Central Bank has reminded the public that the only currency that is legal tender in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi.
In this regard, in conjunction with national security and law enforcement agencies, the banking sector regulator said it will continue to crack down on illegal foreign exchange transactions, adding that “all offenders will be dealt with in accordance with the law”.