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Business News of Wednesday, 9 January 2019


Distrust greets new Trust to fund struggling banks with pensions

A government Trust to fund struggling local banks with pension funds has been met with distrust.

Angel Carbonu, who leads a union of graduate teachers, has in no uncertain terms asked government to suspend immediately, the Ghana Amalgamated Trust.

The Trust, announced by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta January 5, 2019, will provide a top-up for local banks that failed to meet the new minimum capital requirement of GH¢400m set by the Bank of Ghana in 2016.

Those banks include Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), National Investment Bank (NIB), OmniBank Ghana Limited/Bank Sahel Sahara Ghana (OmniBank / BSIC), Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) and Prudential Bank.

The failure of these banks to raise this capital would have meant a downgrade of their licence or even revocation.

But coming to the rescue, government is set to use workers’ contributions for the future to solve a present financial hurdle.

The Finance Minister described beneficiary banks as “solvent and well-run indigenous banks.”

An unimpressed Carbonu, who is President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has dismissed the justification.

”If that were so [solvent] then there was no need to have created any Ghana Amalgamated Trust?” he said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday.

“How do we put people’s future and pension money into the hands of an organisation that is now going to be formed? And amalgamation of failed institutions?” he questioned.

He said if these banks were solvent then there was no need to have created GAT.

The union leader said NAGRAT has not sighted any official document relating to the new GAT and noted any public impression that “a decision [to form GAT] has been taken is absolutely very, very erroneous.”

“We do not know any GAT. When was this GAT established? Nobody should attempt to impose any institution on us,” he continued.

He expressed fears teachers have not been consulted and would have no control of the management of the Ghana Amalgamated Trust.

“To what extent do we workers own and control the institution that is being proposed? How protected is my money?” he told host Daniel Dadzie.

“We have to be very, very careful with what is happening,” the NAGRAT President warned and noted teachers form the largest group of public workers in Ghana.

He urged government to follow the law and regulations surrounding the management of pensions and stated “if anybody sends one pesewa to GAT it is a violation of the rules.”