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General News of Thursday, 6 September 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Parliament's Finance committee sits on 7 collapsed banks

The Finance Committee of Parliament Wednesday began an in-camera probe into the factors leading to the collapse of seven local banks.

Officials of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), led by the Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, as well as officials of the Ministry of Finance, led by a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, appeared before the committee to answer questions relating to the collapse of the banks.

Officials of KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers are scheduled to appear before the committee today, while officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Insurance Commission will also appear before it tomorrow.

The BoG withdrew the licences of the UT and the Capital banks in August 2017, and in August this year it revoked the licences of the Sovereign Bank,uniBank, the BEIGE, Royal and Construction banks and merged them into an entity known as the Consolidated Bank Limited.

The BoG appointed Nii Amanor Dodoo of KPMG as the receiver for the five banks.

It claimed some of the affected banks procured their operational licences through dubious means.

Public hearing

There had been calls from the Minority in Parliament and sections of the society for the sittings of the Finance Committee to be done in public, but the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, said the decision to have the in-camera probe was to protect the state institutions.

He said after getting the information, if there was the need to open the probe to the public, it would be done.

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, lauded the Finance Committee for being proactive in conducting the probe, even without reference by the Speaker of Parliament.

Walk out

But the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central and member of the Finance Committee, Mr Isaac Adongo, stormed out of the sitting.

He told journalists that he was not furnished with the full documents from KPMG and Boulders on the reasons for the collapse of the banks, as required.

Mr Adongo, who is a Minority member on the Finance Committee, said he was only given an executive summary of the Boulders and the KPMG reports on the collapse of the banks.

He said since the documents were not complete, he had strong feelings that the probe was going to be a cover up and, therefore, he was not going to be part of any cover-up probe.

Rebuttals

But Dr Assibey-Yeboah refuted Mr Adongo’s allegation that the documents given him were not complete.

He said the members of the committee were given all the documents and indicated that Mr Adongo was only making false claims.

The NDC MP for Ho Central and member of the Finance Committee, Mr Benjamin Kpodo, said all members had full soft copies of the reports, including the Boulders report.

He, however, said Mr Adongo’s demand for hard copies of the reports was legitimate.

Mr Kpodo said the other Minority members on the committee were participating in the in-camera sitting and asking questions.