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General News of Sunday, 19 August 2018


Banking crisis: ‘Secret’ Parliamentary hearing needless – Casely-Hayford

A financial analyst Sydney Casely-Hayford believes it is unnecessary for Parliament for hold sittings on the country’s banking crisis in-camera.

According to him, the move would be useless as most of the information to be disclosed the sitting may already be in the public domain through various leaked reports commissioned by the Bank of Ghana on the situation.

A Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson in a Citi News interview last week said that the committee’s hearing on the matter will be private.

He explained that this was due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that considering what we call the sensitivity of the matter, parliament committee of Finance will meet in-camera to look at this matter.”

“It is important for the people appearing before the committee to be at ease and to give us the needed answers,” Mr. Ato Forson said.

He said in another interview that, “we will find out whether it is the actions or inactions of some individuals or their recklessness that caused the collapsed of the banks or other factors that are external or indigenous shocks that we can control in the future…In fact, we decided to go in-camera but not a public hearing because money does not tolerate noise.”

But speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, Casely-Hayford said there was no need for secret hearings, noting that the committee did not have the right to do so.

“Parliament really has no right to do this in-camera. They have invited themselves into the conversation. This thing came out a long time ago and it is out in the public domain and we are all familiar with what is in there…. But I don’t think Ghanaians have really understood how bad this is, and Parliament going behind curtains to go and discuss issues for whatever reason I don’t understand,” Casely-Hayford said.

He dismissed claims that the decision to hold the sitting in-camera will ensure that the confidence of the public in the banks.

“Whatever Parliament says or doesn’t say is not going to restore confidence in anybody,” the anti-corruption crusader said.

The 25-member Finance committee is expected to focus on the role of the Bank of Ghana in causing the collapse of the banks and determine to which extent central bank officials are culpable.

It is expected to invite the Bank of Ghana, Finance Ministry, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boulders among others.