BoG join forces with Google, removes 200 illegal loan apps

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Google has taken a decisive stand against illicit financial activities by eliminating and prohibiting 200 illegal Ghanaian loan apps from its Play Store, a collaborative initiative with the Bank of Ghana aimed at protecting consumers.

Despite encountering challenges throughout the year, the Bank of Ghana remains steadfast in its dedication to financial inclusion, recognizing its potential to drive widespread economic growth and alleviate poverty.

Governor Ernest Addison, in his address at the Chartered Institute of Bankers’ Governor’s Day, emphasized the central bank’s commitment to establishing a conducive regulatory environment. Presently, 52 non-bank payment service providers offer diverse payment solutions, aligning with evolving consumer expectations.

To advance fintech endeavors, the Bank of Ghana engaged key market participants in inward remittance termination services, fostering equitable opportunities for all players.

The launch of the central bank’s Regulatory Sandbox supports innovation in new digital business models, tackling challenges not explicitly addressed by existing regulations, and contributes to ongoing financial inclusion initiatives.

Dr. Addison disclosed ongoing surveillance and investigations into over 200 illegal loan apps that offer unauthorized lending products to Ghanaian consumers. Public notices issued in August 2022 and July 2023 cautioned financial institutions to exclusively interact with Bank of Ghana-approved digital credit products.

In a swift response, the Bank of Ghana collaborated with Google’s Regulatory and Policy unit, resulting in the removal and prohibition of identified illegal loan apps from the Google Play Store. Consequently, Google revised its Personal Loan Policy to restrict these apps from accessing device information such as SMS and contacts.

Additionally, in a joint operation involving the central bank, the Economic Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Cyber Security Authority (CSA) Ghana, and the Ghana Police Service, 420 individuals, including three foreigners, were apprehended in July 2023.

This coordinated effort is aimed at curtailing illicit lending operations and fortifying financial security measures.

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