Business News Sat, 28 Sep 2019

I can’t be prosecuted, I did no wrong - Ato Essien

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The founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, says he does not expect to be dragged to court following comments by the Attorney General that it will soon take legal actions against persons who contributed to the banking crisis.

On Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, he maintained that there was no malfeasance in the build-up to the collapse of the bank.

“If there is no crime what are you going to prosecute? We have been with EOCO. Every cedi has been accounted for. What are you going to prosecute… You now know that this was not money taken away by shareholders. This was non-performing loans; interest upon an interest that had ballooned.”

The Attorney General earlier this month announced that 50 directors and owners of seven collapsed banks will soon be prosecuted.

Receivers for the banks have begun legal proceedings against them for their roles in the collapse of the banks.

A lawsuit by the Receiver of the bank demanded that Mr. Essien pays back over GH¢468 million in shareholder loans and some GH¢108 million that was granted to him and his other companies.

Capital Bank was among nine banks that collapsed over a two year period starting on August 2017.

The other banks were UT, which was taken over by the state-owned GCB Bank along with Capital Bank, Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, Construction Bank, uniBank, and Royal Bank, all of which were consolidated into the Consolidated Bank of Ghana.

The decision to collapse all the banks were primarily because they had all become highly insolvent as a result of various reasons including poor corporate governance decisions.

The crisis saw the deposits of some 1.5 million Ghanaians affected though the government stepped in to safeguard their monies.

Protecting the depositors has so far cost the state GH¢12 billion, according to the Finance Minister.

Source: citibusinessnews.com
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