General News Tue, 15 Aug 2017

Minority calls for investigations on UT, Capital bank

The Minority in Parliament has called for a bi-partisan investigation into circumstances that led to the collapse of UT and Capital banks.

Members said the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, should be invited by Parliament to brief the House about the development and give the assurance that the depositors would suffer no loss.

Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, made the call when he addressed a press conference on issues relating to the collapse of UT and Capital banks.

The Bank of Ghana announced the revocation of the licenses of the two banks due to severe impairment of their capital and, as a result, approved a Purchase and Assumption transaction with GCB Bank Limited that transfers all deposits and selected assets to it.

Mr Forson also urged the Bank of Ghana to conduct an investigation as to what occasioned the development.

He said the BOG’s approved “Purchase and Assumption” transaction between UT Bank, Capital Bank and GCB Bank Ltd could be viewed as a relatively smooth takeover rather than the earlier speculation of a simple and forced liquidation, which would have had a devastating effect on the economy.

He urged all depositors and customers of UT and Capital banks to exercise restraint while they patiently monitored the activities of the acquiring bank (GCB), BOG, and the receivers; PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Mr Forson called on the BOG, GCB, PwC, and the Ministry of Finance to ensure strict adherence to the distinct benefit of the Purchase and Assumption transaction, so that no single depositor losses his or her investment.

“Needless to say, should this happen, it will result in an unforeseen burden on taxpayers instead of the original owners of UT and Capital banks,” he added.

He urged the BOG to ensure that the acquiring bank; GCB Bank, which is the largest indigenous bank with both public and private shareholders, was not overburdened unnecessarily with non-performing loans and impaired assets.

Mr Forson further called on the BOG to, as a matter of urgency, start implementing the Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930) without delay.

He said the Act sought to facilitate the development of the financial sector and provide an appropriate and robust legal framework to deal with emerging risks and vulnerabilities in the banking system.

He said the Act addressed supervisory and regulatory gaps to enable the Bank of Ghana superintend over financial service providers in the micro-finance industry.

The Act also ensures financial consumer protection, promotion of innovation and financial inclusion.

Source: Ghana News Agency