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General News Sat, 2 Nov 2019

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KPMG sacks Bank of Ghana’s Reciever

Reports filtering in suggest that, Nii Amanor Dodoo of KPMG, has been fired by his employers over some ethical issues regarding his receivership job for the Bank of Ghana (BoG) with respect to the commercial banks which the government consolidated in the name of restricting and boosting investors’ confidence in the banking sector.

Insiders have told The Herald that, Mr Dodoo, who had gone on retirement recently, but was offered a three year contract, got his engagement terminated by KPMG, after the organization discovered some irregularities in his work involving the consolidation of the commercial banks.

He is mentioned to have acted for the BoG and the government, against the owners and directors of the commercial banks, leaving KPGM prone to some legal liabilities.

Reports are that his entitlements have been frozen, however, the BoG, is still using him as a receiver. He is said to be operating on his own answerable only to BoG and Finance Ministry.

The Herald’s information is that, KPMG, had its attention drawn to the irregularities by its top officials in Nigeria with a warning that international organization which has a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, could be embarrassed.

Following the heads up, KMPG, was said to have instituted some internal investigations, leading to the termination of Mr Dodoo’s contract.

Additional information available to The Herald is that, KPMG is currently withholding some benefits and emolument of Mr Dodoo.

Other sources have said that, KPMG, is afraid that some of the owners and directors of the consolidated commercial banks, could soon be dragging the company to court to respond to its conduct with respect to the consolidation of the Commercial Banks.

Last Friday, an Accra High Court, dismissed an application for injunction filed by owners of defunct Unibank to prevent Nii Amanor Dodoo, acting as receiver for Unibank, from taking over a property in East Ridge, Accra belonging to the former bank.

Mr Dodoo, who was appointed the receiver for Unibank, has embarked on an exercise to retrieve and preserve all assets of the defunct bank.

One such property is an office building located in East Ridge, Accra and currently being occupied by Topp Core Security Limited.

The receiver is said to have served the occupants of the building a notice to vacate the property. But the former owners of the bank, challenged the decision and took the issue to court, praying that the receiver be prevented from evicting the said tenants.

The court presided by Eric K. Baffuor, however, ruled that the applicants did not demonstrate sufficiently how the receiver’s decision to evict the occupant of the property will affect them [owners] given that the tenant has also not contested the eviction notice.

According to the court, Mr Dodoo’s right to take over properties of the erstwhile bank as the receiver, is derived from the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Act, 2016 (Act 930) and that right is not currently being contested in any suit before him.

While Justice Baffuor noted that there is an ongoing arbitration on the revocation of Unibank’s license, he added, the receiver, is not a party to that and thus cannot be prevented from performing his functions of preserving assets that rightfully belong to the former bank.

He stated that in the event the arbitration is successful, the asset would reverts to the bank, as the receiver is only acting on behalf of the former owners and directors of Unibank and the bank would be the ultimate beneficiary.

The court’s ruling is likely to pave way for Nii Amanor Dodoo, acting as receiver not just for Unibank, but Construction Bank, The Royal Bank, Beige Bank, and Sovereign Bank, to take over properties belonging to these former Universal Banks.

The BoG in its banking sector clean-up, revoked the licensed of nine-banks citing various reasons such as capital adequacy ratio crisis, poor corporate governance, over exposure to related parties among others.

The central bank in 2017, approved that the good assets of Capital Bank and UT bank, be taken over by GCB Bank, while it appointed Vish Ashiagbor of PwC, as receiver to make the most out of the remaining assets.

A year later, the BoG, revoked the licenses of five other banks – Unibank, Construction Bank, The Royal Bank, Beige Bank, and Sovereign Bank – and announced that their good assets, have been merged to form Consolidated Bank, Ghana.

The central bank’s decision, however, is being contested by some of the shareholders of some banks that lost their license.

Notable among them are the shareholders of Unibank, which took on the BoG, claiming their license revocation was done arbitrarily without recourse to them.

The Herald Wednesday, reported chancing upon reports, suggesting the BoG, could be blowing some outrageous amounts of money on the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited (“PwC”) and KPMG, as receivers for the purpose of winding down the affairs of the collapsed commercial banks, Savings and Loans and Finance Houses.

Insiders have hinted about the procurement irregularities in the selection of the receiver, saying they were handpicked, instead of a competitive bidding process which would have ensured that the country, got value for money.

One of the receivers, Eric Nana Nipah, who is a Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Limited (“PwC”), has confirmed that the company was actually handpicked to do the work it is doing with the banks, chasing properties of directors, defaulters, as well as collecting money from BoG to pay customers.

The cost of their engagements which include the management of the Ghana Consolidated Bank (CBG) as consultants, is not known to the taxpayer, but only officials of BoG, Ministry of Finance and directors of the companies.

Indeed, KPMG and PwC, have been accused of working for the BoG and the government through Finance Ministry raising doubts about the fairness and professionalism of their work.

The financial institutions, including the Kwesi Nduom’s GN Savings and Loan, Dr. Kwabena Duffour’s Unibank and Unicredit, Dr. Kofi Amoah’s Global Access, First Ghana Savings and Loans Limited, Heritage Bank and several others, have in recent times questioned the processes towards liquidation of their companies.

Some of the owners of the financial institutions, including Kofi Amoabeng – owner of UT Bank and the owner of Capital Bank; William Ato Essien, have directly accused the receivers working more for the BoG, and not ready to listen to any contrary opinion.

Several videos in circulation have shown Kofi Amoabeng, expressing shock at what the Governor of the BoG, who he knew as a man of high morals and integrity, had become since assuming his current position.

Mr Amoabeng, also took issues with Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, whom he described as a longtime friend, but had failed to inform him on the liquidation of the UT Bank, although days before then, he had had conversations with him via phone. He expressed misgivings about the seeming betrayal by his friend.

He revealed had he heard, the bank, which he admitted had some challenges, was going to be liquidated, he could have injected capital, because some investors were ready to invest in the bank.

On his part, Capital Bank CEO; William Ato Essien, also took issues with the same Finance Minister for the takeover of his bank, saying just like Kofi Amoabeng, he was making frantic effort to pump more money into the bank.

He discounted the poor description given his bank and disclosed in an interview on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Finance Minister and his partner Keli Gadzekpo, wanted to purchase Capital Bank in 2016, but he turned them down.

He questioned the desire of Mr Ofori-Atta and Mr Gadzekpo in wanting to buy Capital Bank, if it was indeed, non-performing.

Both Kofi Amoabeng and Ato Essien, insisted there was no fair hearing in the whole process towards the liquidation of their companies.

The directors, including those of the Heritage Bank, have also raised issues about the consolidation, especially so when it was not insolvent at the time government withdrew its license as per statement from the Central Bank governor, Ernest Addison.

Source: theheraldghana.com

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