Persons reading political meaning into the decision by the Bank of Ghana to take over the management of uniBank must do a proper analysis of the situation before making such claims, Professor Peter Quartey, Head of Economics Department at the University of Ghana, has said.
According to him, reading political meaning into this development is a myopic way of describing the development.
The central bank in a statement released on Tuesday, 20 March, said uniBank refused to cooperate with the central bank in the performance of its supervisory responsibilities, including deliberately concealing some liabilities from its balance sheet, and failing to submit documents and records for supervisory inspection, hence the takeover.
The bank, among other things, also “failed to comply with a directive of the Bank of Ghana dated 26th October, 2017 under section 105 of Act 930, prohibiting the bank from granting new loans and incurring new capital expenditures. Failed to comply with several other regulatory requirements, including: Lending to a number of borrowers in excess of its regulatory lending limit (single obligor limit) under section 62 of the Banks and SDIs Act, 2016 (Act 930).”
However, a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Prof John Gatsi said the move is “politically motivated” because of the “kind of things going on between the managers of uniBank Ghana Limited and the Minister of Finance.”
In Prof Gatsi's view, many banks are going through similar crisis as uniBank, and, so, wondered why the central bank chose to target uniBank.
He told Accra-based Starr FM on Tuesday that the recent tussle between uniBank and the central bank over ADB had political undertones, a situation, he believes, culminated in the BoG's takeover of the indigenous bank.
But speaking on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday, 21 March, Prof Quartey said: “This is a myopic way of describing what has happened. Any short-sighted person who did not do a proper analysis of the situation will say this.
“If you do a proper analysis of the situation, you will realise that when the economy started facing challenges in 2014, several businesses including the banks, had issues. Speak to the directors of the banks and they will tell you, all of them complained that recovering their debts had become difficult. So the bank’s problems started from that period up till now. So, you can’t blame somebody now for these happenings, this is a problem that started years ago.
“I don’t think we should play politics with it, when that happens, we actually neglect the core issues that must be addressed and rather engage in needles arguments. All of us are banking, and, so, we have to look at the problems affecting the banks and deal with them.”