BANKS and financial institutions play a pivotal role in the growth and development of any economy.
And though there are rules to regulate them, honesty in financial dealings and handling clients’ funds is of paramount importance if ever any bank wants to maintain credibility and relevancy. It is unfortunate that there have been allegations of financial misconduct among some local commercial banks and financial institutions in the country.
This puts a dent on the integrity of the banking sector that is expected to diligently facilitate businesses and serve the masses. The bogus financial dealings like money laundering not only cause losses to the government but also results in the financial institutions stealing from the general public.
The rot has to be nipped in the bud so that sanity continues to prevail in the financial sector. And the directive by President John Magufuli over the weekend that the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) should impose severe penalties on commercial banks and financial institutions that engage in financial misconduct and keep an eye on bureaus de change is timely, to say the least.
The BoT should be on high alert and closely monitor all dealings of banks and other financial institutions like bureaus de change to maintain the sanity that currently prevails.
The few banks and institutions that are there to tarnish the reputation of the noble sector should serve as example to would be offenders after encountering huge penalties, including total closure. Dr Magufuli urged BoT Governor, Prof BennoNdulu, not to hesitate to close banks and financial institutions that are implicated in such a rot.
This is a good move to deter those planning to fleece the government and the general public. The financial sector should, therefore, be on the forefront in supporting the government efforts to develop the economy rather than being counterproductive through dishonest dealings.
Financial institutions should voluntarily abide by the laws that govern their businesses for the success of the national economy.
The general public on the other hand should join hands in supporting government efforts by reporting any financial rot they come across in their transactions. It is critical, therefore, for the government, financial sector and the general public to join hands in curbing the financial rot for the betterment of the country and the economy.