We’ll examine BoG’s response – Committee probing uniBank, UT Bank collapse

The Chairman of the bi-partisan parliamentary committee probing the collapse of UT Bank and uniBank, Joe Osei Owusu says a response it received from the Bank of Ghana with regard to the case will be carefully considered as the committee continues with its work.

He said the Bank of Ghana’s response does not necessarily mean the central bank has declined an invitation extended to it to assist the committee with its work.

Through its lawyers, the Bank of Ghana among other things explained that the petitioners, Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Dr Kwabena Duffour, owners of the two defunct banks, are only seeking to use Parliament to have its decision reviewed.

The central bank insisted that its decision to revoke the licences of uniBank and UT Bank was taken in accordance with statutory powers it draws from the Banks and Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions (BSDTI) Act, 2016 (Act 930).

“The BSDTI Act provides how persons who are aggrieved with such decisions may seek redress for their grievances, and the prescribed resolution mechanisms do not include recourse to Parliament.”

Some watchers of the space had interpreted the BoG’s response as a way of refusing to honour the invitation extended to it by the parliamentary committee.

Joe Osei Owusu, chairman of the ad-hoc committee, in a Citi News interview said his team will meet to examine the response and request additional details if need be.

“We received the Bank of Ghana’s response to the petition. We asked them to respond to the petition, and they have responded. The committee will put them together and consider them, and we will consider whether we need to do more and if yes, what are we going to do more on.”

Background

Former stakeholders of the banks, Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Dr. Kwabena Duffuor petitioned Parliament to investigate the conduct of the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Stock Exchange in the revocation of the licences of UT Bank as well as uniBank and delisting them from the country’s stock exchange.

The petition also sought the restoration of the licences of these banks.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, subsequently constitute a nine-member committee to look into the petition presented to the House.

This was after the petition was officially brought before him by the Bawku Central legislator, Mahama Ayariga.

Why were the banks collapsed?

Dr. Duffuor, founder of now-defunct uniBank and Mr. Amoabeng, former Chief Executive Officer of collapsed UT bank, had the licences of their respective financial institutions revoked during the banking sector clean-up which commenced in 2017.

For UT Bank, the apex bank claimed it took the action against the institution because it was insolvent and was unable to recapitalize despite several assurances from the company’s shareholders.

The apex bank also gave similar reasons for the revocation of uniBank’s licence, saying the financial institution was significantly undercapitalised.

The committee members

The parliamentary committee is chaired by the First Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai, Joseph Osei Owusu.

Other members are Alexander Afenyo- Markin (MP, Effutu), Joe Ghartey (MP, Essikando-Ketan), Patrick Yaw Boamah (MP, Okaikwei Central), Samuel Atta-Akyea (MP, Abuakwa South), James Klutse Avedzi (MP, Ketu North), Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson (MP, Ajumako Enyan Esiam), Isaac Adongo (MP, Bolagtanga Central) and Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare (MP, Techiman North).

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