BoG had no excuse to collapse Heritage Bank - Kofi Amoabeng opines

Prince Kofi Amoabeng Ski3.png Prince Kofi Amoabeng, Founder of defunct UT Bank

Tue, 30 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Founder of now-defunct Unique Trust Bank, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, has opined that the central bank had no excuse to shut down some indigenous commercial banks including Heritage Bank when it undertook a clean-up exercise a few years ago.

According to him, the revocation of some banks’ operating license was ‘extremely odd’ adding that Heritage Bank, in particular, had no bad loans on its books as stated by the banking sector regulator.

Speaking in an interview on TV3's Business Focus, the former UT boss was of the view that Heritage Bank was being run by competent persons and suggested that the decision to collapse the bank was somewhat “politically motivated, extremely unfair and unfortunate”.

When probed further on the assertion that the collapse of some banks was politically motivated, Kofi Amoabeng said, “A few of them; specifically, Heritage Bank”.

“I don’t understand the issue because the Chairman of the Board is Dr Kwesi Botchwey. I have a lot of respect for him when it comes to finance in this country and managing Boards and he will not, in my estimation, ever accept to be Chairman of a bank that is not right and dealing in all sorts of things. I can say that for him,” he opined.

“So, I find it extremely odd that a bank – and it had not started doing business for it to have bad loans and all those things – and for you to say that the owner did not have what it takes [doesn’t meet the fit-and-proper criterion] or however they put it, I mean the owner does not run the bank, he’s a Ghanaian, he’s got the money, he has appointed the right people to run the bank for him, so, what is the excuse?” he continued.

While admitting he may not have the full facts resulting in the collapse of Heritage Bank, Kofi Amoabeng maintained that the banking sector clean-up exercise was unfair.

“I find that extremely, extremely unfair. Maybe I don’t have all the facts, but from where I stand, I find it really unfortunate”.

As part of the banking sector clean-up exercise, the Bank of Ghana on January 4 2019 revoked the operating license of Heritage Bank Limited which belonged to businessman, Seidu Agongo.

According to the BoG, the decision was determined after it discovered that Mr Seidu Agongo, who held majority shares in the bank, used proceeds accrued from alleged fraudulent contracts which he executed for the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) under the leadership of Stephen Opuni, former Chief Executive Officer of the cocoa regulator.

The matter, which was since become a court issue for about four years involves the former COCOBOD boss, Stephen Opuni and Seidu Agongo who are now facing prosecution by the State.


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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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