General News of Sat, 4 Aug 201815
Collapsed Banks: Punish auditors – Inusah Fuseini
Auditors who misled the Bank of Ghana (BoG) with false information that led to the central bank granting licences to some banks must be punished for their actions, Inusah Abdulai B. Fuseini, Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, has said.
According to him, the BoG relies on reports from auditors to take decisions, therefore, if those reports turn out to be false, then the auditors must be questioned.
The Bank of Ghana has revealed that shareholders of defunct uniBank, have admitted to using the bank’s funds, which they took under “questionable circumstances”, to purchase a lot of real estates in their names.
Announcing the fusion of uniBank and four other struggling local banks: Sovereign, Beige, Construction and The Royal banks, into the newly-created Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison, told journalists on Wednesday, 1 August that: “uniBank’s shareholders and related parties have admitted to acquiring several real estate properties in their own names using the funds they took from the bank under questionable circumstances”.
“Promises by these shareholders and related parties to refund monies by mid-July 2018 and legally transfer title to assets acquired back to uniBank have failed to materialise”, Dr Addison said.
According to him, “Based on the Bank of Ghana’s review of KPMG’s assessment of the financial condition of uniBank, the Bank of Ghana has concluded that uniBank is insolvent and has no reasonable prospect of rehabilitation, or a reasonably credible path to viability.
“In arriving at this conclusion, the Bank of Ghana has carefully considered the options provided under Act 930 to rehabilitate a bank under official administration.
“The Bank of Ghana finds that in the interest of promoting financial stability, protecting the interests of depositors and lenders, minimising the costs to the tax payer, and restoring integrity in the financial sector, the only reasonable option is to fully resolve the bank by revoking its banking licence and winding down its affairs through a receiver appointed by the Bank of Ghana”.
Speaking on TV3’s New Day on Saturday, 4 August 2018, Mr Fuseini said among other things that: “Most regulatory institutions take reactive steps, I think they need to take proactive steps, they need to go to the banks and see what is happening and also hold auditors responsible because auditors ought to indemnify the Bank of Ghana.
“If they produce an audit report that does not reflect the true and accurate status of the bank and gets the Bank of Ghana to rely on that, they should be held responsible.”