Minority in Parliament has threatened to hurl the Finance Minister and Governor of Bank of Ghana before the House if they fail to adequately inform Ghanaians about the true state of the banking sector.
This comes on the back of the take over of uniBank by the Bank of Ghana, 8 months after the Bank of Ghana supervised the take over of Capital and UT Banks by Ghana Commercial Bank.
The Bank of Ghana has, however, appointed KPMG as new managers of the bank taking over from the existing management with a mandate to turn around the fortunes of the Bank in 6-months.
The Minority insist that as a matter of urgency, customers and the general public should be properly informed and updated on happenings within the sector.
“The Minority urges MOF and BOG to explain the full situation to Ghanaians, failing which it will compel the Minister and Governor to appear promptly before the House to do the right thing” a statement signed by the Ranking Member, Finance Committee Ato Forson stressed.
Below is the full detail of the Minority’s release on the latest takeover by the Bank of Ghana.
MINORITY STATEMENT ON BANK OF GHANA TAKEOVER OF UNIBANK
The Minority caucus in Parliament has received with apprehension, news of the takeover of uniBank by Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the appointment of KPMG to manage its affairs for a period of six months. Pending a comprehensive assessment of the situation, we wish to issue the following cautionary statement:
Time for BoG to come clean
A) The Minority calls on Bank of Ghana to take immediate steps to furnish Ghanaians with a comprehensive update on the situation in the Banking and Financial Sector. This will afford deeper understanding of events and the decision-making processes resulting in the liquidation or takeover of Banks since the Akufo Addo government came to power.
B) Our call for the Government to come clean with a more comprehensive position is based on the following:
(i) So far, BOG has been adhoc, not proactive, in issuing its case-by-case Statements;
(ii) There has been a lack of openness in the ad hoc Statements on Capital and UT Banks, especially after the government failed to take the opportunity of the presentation of the 2018 Budget to inform Ghanaians about the IMF’s imposition to borrow or issue Bonds to pay depositors and, thereby, increasing Ghana’s public debt; and
(iii) By BOG’s own admission, the Central Bank and MOF also failed to make full disclosures in the Budget of public funds being used to provide support to the banking sector compared with the approach the Mahama administration took on ESLA.
Government should stop the deceipt
C) We urge the Government, its Ministers and officials, and surrogates to stop creating the impression that assets by these Banks are being auctioned or sold to pay depositors.
D) It is now certain that the IMF Resident Representative in Ghana would not have granted an interview to support the issuing of Bonds if estimates (of the proceeds of sales of assets) by the Fund, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and BOG were deemed to be sufficient to settle the liabilities.
E) As the IMF noted, the expectation is that the net liability will be settled with a sovereign Bond, to be repaid by the taxpayer.
Explain recent bizarre developments
F) It appears that uniBank has been a target for a while, with BOG now confirming hints from the grapevine of liquidation or a bail-out. Was it deliberate to delay adding the Bank to the measures taken on Capital Bank and UT? Has the delay and lack of openness by BOG not rather worsened the situation of the Bank?
G) Against this background, the Minority calls on BOG and MOF to avoid further delays in coming out to fully explain the recent bizarre developments involving uniBank, Belstar, and ADB Bank.
H) The Bank of Ghana appears to know about the weak state of, and non-cooperation by, uniBank; which makes it surprising that the Bank and MOF (with a Minister who was giving loan directives to ADB) were not aware of the major developments in the background on the ADB deal. It is important for BOG to fully explain the public pronouncements of the takeover of ADB.
I) Why has BOG appointed an Administrator for uniBank when the latter was sure it could raise funds to take over ADB through Belstar? Was the pledge and promise to bring in funds to take over ADB a hoax?
Role of IMF
J) The BOG and MOF should explain to Ghanaians if the IMF gave the final push on uniBank, when the Staff decided to defer taking the 5th ECF Program Review to the Board.
K) Does the support of the IMF Resident Representative on Bond issue extend to uniBank?
L) We ask these questions of the IMF because it has suddenly stopped issuing exit Statements after Staff visits and reviews. We also note the delays in posting Staff Reports on Ghana on its Website. Further, we note the stoppage of regular interviews to Ghanaian journalist by its External Relations Unit on the Ghanaian economy.
M) If unibank has always been in the works, then it is time for MOF and BOG to let Ghanaians know about the full amount of Bonds to be added to the Public Debt.
N) We take note of the assurances to Depositors by BOG and the Administrators. In urging calm, the Minority also takes note of the assurances by the President of the Association of Bankers that the ESLA initiative has substantially stabilized the financial situation of many Banks in the country. We are also mindful and have taken note of the interview granted to the Media by the 2nd Deputy Governor, about the plan to resolve the uniBank crisis in six (6) months.
O) The Minority urges MOF and BOG to explain the full situation to Ghanaians, failing which it will compel the Minister and Governor to appear promptly before the House to do the right thing.
Cassiel Ato Forson
Ranking Member, Finance Committee of Parliament, Ghana.