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Business News of Monday, 28 November 2016

Source: B&FT

MD of ARB APEX Bank must not come back – UNICOF

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The National Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) has called on the Bank Ghana not to renewal the contract of the Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Kwadwo Aye Kusi, the regulator for the rural banking system in the country.

According to UNICOF who welcomed BOG’s order for MD of the bank to proceed on leave said, Mr. Kusi’s actions within the bank has placed the bank under distress which in turn has also affected the operations rural banks placing some of them at risk of collapse.

UNICOF insists that for the smooth running of the rural banks regulatory body a safe pair of hands must be brought in to steer the affairs of the apex bank.

The demand comes after the Bank of Ghana has directed embattled Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Kwadwo Aye Kusi, to proceed on leave, effective today Monday, November 28, 2016, can confirm.

A letter from the central bank, citied by the, said the central bank had received a complaint lodged by the local workers’ union of ARB Apex Bank and a petition filed by a member of staff against the Managing Director, which cite issues of bad corporate governance, disregard of the banks policies, and financial malfeasance, which could affect operations of the bank.

But speaking to the the Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) John Senanu Amegashie who said the union was happy to see that the Bank of Ghana governor has with the central bank act in good faith and decided to investigate the matter and by extension asked the MD to proceed on leave.

However, the union would want to categorically state that, they do not want Mr. Kusi back at the bank as they are convinced that findings from the investigation would not prove otherwise of the allegations leveled against him.

“We are very much satisfied with the move from the central bank for one fact that, they have heeded to our suggestions to let him step aside. However, for the union and the workers to put to paper all the issues we have raised we have no doubt that he cannot come back as the MD of the bank. But we are happy that the governor of the Bank of Ghana has directed that investigations be conducted and the outcome be known to all of us.”

“though we will base our further actions on the outcome of the investigations findings but we want to send this signal we as union do not want the current MD of ARB APEX Bank Mr. Kusi to be brought back to lead the bank as under his watch we have seen the number of distressed rural banks increase,” he added.

UNICOF thorugh its leader Mr. Amegashie also reiterated its call for the EOCO investigations report to be made public alongside findings from the current ongoing investigations.

“For the governor of the central bank to ask that there should be an investigation into the leadership of the MD, we think that the central bank should include the EOCO report when its making available its current investigations finds to all concern or stakeholders.”

The Managing Director of the ARB APEX Bank is to from today Monday November 28 begin his leave to allow an investigative team from the Bank of Ghana to assess some allegations on his style of leadership and some alleged issues of bad corporate governance, disregard of the banks policies, and financial malfeasance, which could affect operations of the bank.

“Consequently, Management of Bank of Ghana has tasked the Financial Stability Department to conduct investigations into the aforementioned,” in a letter, signed by Francis F. Blankson, Acting Head of the Financial Stability Department at the Bank of Ghana.

The letter adds that: “investigations to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the allegations are ongoing and are expected to cover the period 21 November to December 2, 2016.”

The central bank said its team of investigators will call randomly on Directors, Management and Staff of ARB Apex Bank to clarify issues.

The BoG urged that a “calm working atmosphere” should prevail at the bank while the team assesses the grounds for the complaints made and take responses and explanations.

“For unfettered access to documents and information, it is required that the subject of investigation (Managing Director) stay out of the office.”

Consequently, the Managing Director has been directed to proceed on his outstanding leave effective Monday November 28, 2016, until investigations are completed.

The outcome of the investigations, the BoG said, will be communicated to all stakeholders in due course.

Recently, the National Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF), called on the central bank not to renew the term of office of Kwadwo Aye Kusi, who came under EOCO investigations last year regarding some procurement irregularities.