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General News of Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Source: todaygh.com

Minority calls for bi-partisan probe into UT, Capital Banks

Minority Members in Parliament (MPs) have called for a bi-partisan investigation into circumstances that led to the collapse of UT and Capital Banks.

According to the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, government needs to probe the matter in order to give Ghanaians assurances that their deposits were safe.

His comments followed the takeover of the two banks by the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) on Monday, August 14, 2017, following an announcement by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) that it had withdrawn the licences of the two banks which were struggling to operate financially.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Forson said: “These two banks had won enviable awards in recent high profile ceremonies. Therefore, we the Members of the Minority of this Parliament, as a matter of urgency, will be requesting through the Rt. Honourable Speaker that the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana be invited to brief Parliament about this development and to give assurances that depositors would suffer no losses.”

Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, Mr. Forson said the past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government took “deliberate” steps to shield the banking sector from losses.

“Notably among them is the Ghana Deposit Protection Act, 2016 (Act 931). This Act established the Deposit Protection Scheme (Insurance), the Deposit Protection Fund, and Deposit Protection Corporation,” he said.

The former deputy finance minister said the Act seeks to protect depositors from potential losses in the banking sector.



Mr. Forson said it was because of this “supervisory and regulatory gaps” that the NDC government enacted the Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions (SDI) Act, 2016 (Act 930) to strengthen the banking system.

Although he said the minority accepts the “Purchase and Assumption (P&A)” transaction between UT, Capital Banks and GCB Bank, it wanted the central bank and the current government to implement the laws passed by the past administration.

“We strongly urge these three institutions, (BOG, GCB, and PwC), and the Ministry of Finance (MOF)…to ensure strict adherence to the distinct benefit of the purchase and assumption (P&A) transaction, so that no single depositor loses his or her investment,” Mr. Forson said.

He cautioned that the consequences of loss of deposit by customers will be too gigantic for the economy to cushion.

“It will result in an unforeseen burden on taxpayers instead of the original owners of UT and Capital Banks,” he added.