The Western African Bankers’ Association (WABA) on Monday 10th May, 2010 brought together Senior Officials of Commercial Banks operating in the West African Sub region to discuss the issue of Quoting and Trading in ECOWAS National Currencies.
During deliberations at a one day workshop held at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown Managing Director United Bank of Africa (UBA), Ghana, Gabriel Edgal stated in his presentation that there is a lot of informal and unsupervised trading activities going on across the borders of ECOWAS member states which could be properly coordinated to the advantage of banking institutions provided there is a very close economic collaboration among countries and supported by policy makers.
He said this problem could be tackled with effective implementation of Quoting and Trading in ECOWAS national currencies which will in turn enable commercial banks and other authorized dealers doing business to buy and sell thereby bringing huge financial gains to participating countries.
“With this system in place all ECOWAS Currencies should become freely exchangeable and convertible in all ECOWAS countries” Gabriel Edgal added.
The MD of UBA, Ghana further stated that there is need for commercial banks to closely collaborate with Central Banks so that the level of informal trade could be tackled.
In his presentation the Group Treasurer of ECOBANK Transnational Inc. Steve Williams said even as Bankers are putting strategies in place for banks to quote the currencies of countries in which they operate, most banks lack the capacity to do so which therefore necessitates effective collaboration with other banks that have that capacity.
Steve called on all Banking institutions to join forces in promoting trade within the sub region rather than seeing each other as enemies.
“We have become more of competitors in the financial environment than collaborators. Instead of collaborating to address our problems we are busy fighting among ourselves” he stated.