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We won’t shield any director in collapsed banks— BoG

By: Emmanuel Bruce
Elsie Addo Awadzi , Second Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana
Elsie Addo Awadzi , Second Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has given a strong assurance that it will not shield any director or manager who played a role in the collapse of the defunct UT Bank and Capital Bank.

Speaking at the GRAPHIC BUSINESS/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra, the Second Deputy Governor of the BoG, Ms Elsie Awadzi said the central bank, together with auditing firm PwC had done its own investigations and submitted the report to the Economic and Organised Crime Office for futher investigations and possible prosecution.

“We are not a law enforcing agency so we have done our part and submitted our report to the law enforcement and the prosecutorial agencies. The process is ongoing and we are clear on what went wrong and those who are culpable. We will not shield anyone,” she stated

“We will do whatever lies in our power to support the law enforcement agencies,” she added.

In the case of uniBank, she said it was early days since investigations were still going on.

The Bank of Ghana in August, 2017 revoked the licences of UT and Capital banks , with the two banks subsequently taken over by GCB Bank.

The liabilities of the two banks, according to the central bank, overwhelmed their assets, leaving the BoG with no other option than to undertake a purchase and assumption transaction as the least costly method of dealing with a collapse.

Consequently, former directors of the two banks were recently made to appear before EOCO to answer questions on their roles in the collapse of the banks.

This followed findings of an investigative report on the collapse of the banks which was submitted to the Bank of Ghana.

New capital requirement
The second deputy governor also pointed out that the banks were doing well by meeting the new capital requirement by December 2018.

“A lot of them have already announced that they have met it or are on course, and we are very hopeful that all the banks will meet it on the strength of their own balance sheet, through the injection of new capital or through merging,” she noted.

She said all of these measures were being actively explored by the banks.

Encourage merging
She also mentioned that the central bank would encourage banks who failed to raise the needed capital to consider merging.

“Merging is not a bad thing because all over the world we have seen it working well and helping create a much bigger financial system and we will encourage it,” she stated.

Give up banking license
The Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr Kwamina Asomaning also urged banks who are unable to raise the new requirement to consider giving up their banking licenses for licenses in other sectors of the financial market where they would be more effective.

“In the financial system, we have different types of financial intermediary roles and they can operate where their capital allows them to,” he stated.

“It is important to remember that the regulator has at its disposal a lot of information and knows the challenges of the industry so to me I believes, GH¢400 million is good as it will help the banks to better manage their risks,” he maintained.—GB