The Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) can step in to investigate circumstances that led to the collapse of some banks in the country, Dr Benjamin Amoah, Head of Research Department of the BoG, has said.According to him, the BoG has no prosecutorial powers to drag directors of those banks who engaged in illegalities to court.
The BoG, on Wednesday, 1 August 2018, announced the merger of five struggling local banks into a Consolidated Bank, since they cannot meet the minimum capital requirement of GHS400 million. The newly-established Consolidated Bank is fully owned by the Government of Ghana, with a start-up capital of GHS450 million.
The banks that have been merged are The Royal Bank, The BIEGE Bank, Sovereign Bank, Construction Bank and uniBank.
According to the BoG, The BEIGE, Sovereign and the Construction banks obtained their banking licences under false pretences through the use of suspicious and non-existent capital, whereas the Royal Bank had non-performing loans which constitute 78.9 per cent and uniBank which also had a capital of GHS7.4 billion compared to the regulatory minimum of GHS400 million.
Asked whether or not the BoG will institute legal action against the directors of the banks that obtained their licences under false pretences, Dr Amoah told Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM, on Thursday, 2 August 2018, that: “The BoG has no prosecutorial powers to arrest the directors and prosecute them.
“It is the EOCO and other state investigative bodies that have the powers to prosecute, and, so, they can come in, and, if they need the BoG to assist in the investigations, we will do that.”
Touching on whether or not workers of these banks are going to lose their jobs under the management of the now Consolidated Bank, Dr Amoah told show host Chief Jerry Forson that: “Workers are not going to lose their jobs under the Consolidated Bank. I'll urge all workers to move in to their various branches or offices to do their normal work.”