Founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, has debunked allegations that the bank collapsed because he stole money from it.
Speaking to Paul Adom-Otchere on Good Evening Ghana, Mr Essien asserted that he never treated the bank as a ‘piggy bank’ as was reported after it collapsed.
He said he was restrained from clearing the air on the issue at the time because he felt his explanations would not be accepted.
“When the noises are loud and you even speak, reason will be challenged so my approach was ‘take your time, take it in’. I was restrained many times because I thought that what they were saying was purely lack of information and I was tempted to go out there and put the information right.”
“I never chopped a dime,” he added, questioning why he would even think of robbing a bank he set up and worked hard to see it grow to the level it was.
“If people do it (rob the banks they set up), looking at where I have come from, migrated it from an unregulated institution to a regulated space now to a universal bank why will I want to do that”, he quizzed.
Ato Essien was amazed by the twisting of the narrative due to lack of information, leading him to release a statement assuring that every money will be duly accounted for in due time - which he says has been done.
He further explained that media reports on ‘shareholder loans’ purporting they were monies that shareholders took from the bank, when that is not the case, caused the confusion.
“…the bad bank is what we ring-fenced, and we called it shareholder loans. It was not money that shareholders took from the bank which is what was reported and the whole nation was outraged. Obviously, if I was a citizen and I heard that people took that kind of money I’ll behave the same way”, he noted.
He said there was the need to ring-fence the bank’s non-performing loans in a bid to clean up their books and attract investors.
“We indicated to the central bank that we want to clean up our books and in cleaning up our books we want to be able to ring-fence these non-performing loans because under the IFRS we have what we call classification based on the next 180 days… so if you have to go by the classification as a universal bank, any money you give out a loan come six months, if they have not been recovered, you have to provision against it.”