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Politics of Monday, 23 September 2019


Akufo-Addo gov’t could have saved collapsed banks – Adongo jabs

Isaac Adongo Isaac Adongo

The member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Mr. Isaac Adongo has said the manner in which the Akufo-Addo government tackled the banking sector clean-up did not make economic sense.

Describing the exercise as “sheer wickedness”, Mr. Adongo, who is also a member of the Finance Committee of Parliament observed that the Bank of Ghana, in a bid to clean the financial sector, employed a selective way to collapse the banks and other financial institutions to sarve the government’s interest.

In the last 2 years, the Central Bank has revoked the licences of 9 universal banks, 347 microfinance companies, 39 microcredit companies, 15 savings and loans companies, 8 finance house companies, and 2 non-bank institutions.

Notable among the institutions were UniBank, Beige, Heritage, Capital, UT and GN Banks.

The regulator said the said financial institutions were undercapitalised hence the revocation of their licenses after they were given grace period. The BoG said it’s approach was to protect the interest of depositors in accordance with Sections 123 to 137 of Act 930.

There has been a nationwide debate over the approach used by the central bank in its clean–up exercise. While some believe that BOG is being inhuman by not applying the human face to the exercise, others are of the view that the approach was a necessary evil.

But Mr. Adongo, who strongly disagrees with the BoG on its approach, believes many of the affected institutions could have been saved if government had good intentions and was willing to bail them out rather than the action which has rendered thousands jobless today.

“Look, I have always been saying the government did not mean well when it comes to the collapse of these banks and financial institutions. We could have used a different strategy to save the banks and monitor them to work,” he told Dwaboase co-host Kwame Minkah on Power 97.9 FM on Friday morning.

To him, the government lacked the knowledge to save the institutions, adding, “Recently, a regional bank was saved in China. This is a bank that operates in one region and not across the country, but the government worked hard to save it and secured jobs. That is what a good government does.”

He believes if the government had given the banks a “bail out”, the regu;ator could have monitored them to work in accordance with the Central Bank’s regulations and make the necessary amends.

“The government caused all this mess. They kept telling people the banks didn’t have the minimum capital requirement and so people ran to the banks to withdraw their monies. No bank will survive if it is hit by panic withdrawal…this is the reason why the government should have bailed them out,” Mr Adongo added.

The MP said as Minority MPs, they will continue to put government on its toes while the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) continues to engage key stakeholders particularly those affected to inform how to fashion policies that NDC can implement to ameliorate the crisis if John Mahama wins the 2020 elections.