The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has claimed that the now defunct Heritage Bank was targeted and ultimately collapsed unfairly during the banking sector clean-up exercise.In a statement issued by the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson suggested that the defunct Heritage Bank was indeed profitable and financially sound to operate.
“Before we delve into the details of the bank's establishment, its capitalization and status prior its cruel collapse, let’s set the record straight by stating emphatically that of all the banks that were collapsed under the so called clean-up, only Heritage Bank was solvent amongst them,” the statement said.
It added; “In other words, the bank was profitable, liquid and financially sound. it was able to meet its withdrawal demands from customers and it continued to service its obligations in earnest. The bank was generally bubbly and on the path of becoming one of the most profitable indigenous banks only for the Bank of Ghana to cut its promising future short.”
ASEPA further stated; “As a matter of fact the Bank of Ghana even admitted Heritage Bank’s solvent nature in the statement that announced the revocation of the bank's license.”
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Governor of the Bank, Ernest Addison have all debunked earlier suggestions made that it deliberately conspired to collapse some banks in the wake of the banking sector clean-up exercise undertaken in 2017.
According to Mr Ofori-Atta some managers and directors of the banks were literally bankrupt yet were taking depositors funds and loaning them back for regeneration.
See the full statement below
As part of its efforts to restore confidence in the banking and specialized deposit-taking sectors, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) embarked on a clean-up exercise in August 2017 to resolve insolvent financial institutions whose continued existence posed risks to the interest of depositors.
The clean-up saw the revocation of licenses of 9 universal banks, 347 micro-finance companies, 39 micro credit companies or money lenders, 15 savings and loans companies, 8 finance house companies, and two non-bank financial institutions.
The move by the Central Bank was a comprehensive assessment of the savings and loans and finance house sub-sectors carried out by the BoG in the last few years after it identified serious breaches.