Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

The Parliament of Ghana has sent a delegation to Brussels to investigate the closure of Ghana’s Embassy account by the order of ING Bank in Belgium.

According to the Chairman of Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Frank Annor Dompreh, a delegation made up of a representation of both Majority and Minority in Parliament have been dispatched to Belgium.

He stated that the delegation is expected to return with a report on their findings, so as to get to the bottom of the issue.

“We have tasked MPs who have the capacity in terms of financial backgrounds who can help us unravel the mystery so we can have a report.

“The committee together with the ministry in our wisdom came together to put together a team on our part to go there who have the needed background to come out with a report,” he said.

Mr Dompreh, speaking to JoyNews, said the report will help to ascertain the rationale behind the decision. This he said, will enable the country take the necessary actions.

The initiative by parliament follows an order by ING Bank for the Ghanaian Embassy in Belgium to withdraw all of its money. The order would facilitate the closure of the embassy’s accounts, the bank stated.

Although the bank has not provided reasons, besides its regulations for the order of withdrawal, a stipulated time, November 12, 2020, has been provided to the embassy to withdraw its money since the bank’s decision is irreversible.

The ING Bank stated its action is premised on Article 59 of the bank’s General Regulations. The said article states:

“Without prejudice to the provisions stipulated by specific agreements or regulations, in particular, the Special Regulations for Payment Transactions, for Transactions and services covered by these Regulations, both the Client and ING may – without being required to justify their decision – terminate all or part of the business relationship they have entered into, subject, where appropriate and at the request of the other party, to compensation for any loss suffered as a result thereof, which the other party shall substantiate.

“The party which wishes to terminate its business relations shall notify the other party of its decision in writing…”

Mr Dompreh stated that the closure of accounts is associated with the country’s Foreign Policy.

“There is no problem with our foreign policy. These issues are not peculiar to Ghana. There are a number of nations across the world who have one way or the other experienced this challenge,” he added.

He further added that Ghana’s reputation has no way been tainted by the current circumstances because “the country has always displayed transparency and a level of professionalism” in dealing with foreign missions.

“Ghana is respected out there and that no one can take from us,” he said.