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Opinions of Saturday, 11 August 2018

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com

Saving jobs in the Consolidated Bank

We have not yet come to the end of the matters arising out of the biggest crash in the history of banking in this country.

While we are excited, indeed elated that the regulator was quick to intervene with the big whip, we cannot brush aside the possible negative aftermath of the necessary action as in a layoff although this has been discounted.

There was no alternative to the amalgamation of the banks, some of them established under shameful and worst practices unacceptable in any part of the world.

What most Ghanaians, if not all, are apprehensive about the regulator’s action is the possibility of workers losing their jobs although an assurance about that not happening has been given.

Let the regulator not only live by its word, it should support the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG) operate in a manner which would actually make the retained staff productive. This is the only way to make the retention sustainable. It is about fighting unemployment in the country and simultaneously ensuring the viability of the CBG. An overstretched regulator could be compelled under such circumstances and be constrained to review its ‘no layoff’ decision.

What led to the collapse of the four banks was the unsustainable method of running them and even the faux pas in their establishment. This is evidenced by their inability to stand the test of time and even financial stress.

Anything short of retaining the staff would in the long run be counterproductive since, after all, the idea of economic activities is to ensure that citizens have work to do and when they retire at the end, their benefits will sustain them.

Behind the façade of good policies to run entities, banks inclusive, is the objective of accessing bread and butter by all citizens. That is why we are harping on the employment retention issue.

The staff so retained after the amalgamation should not only count themselves fortunate for remaining in employment; they must shed off the unproductive attitude of indolence because the collapsed banks belonged to their uncles and fathers.

The collapsed banks have not only been reengineered, they are expected to be productive standing on their feet by applying best banking practices and not because of big brother Bank Of Ghana (BOG) standing over their shoulders ready to throw in the lifeline. We do not want to witness another catastrophe in the banking sector because that would require another round of laughable intervention and a case study for banking gurus in their boardrooms and even students on how reckless management can lead to the collapse of banks.

The Ghana story, like its Nigerian counterpart, has obviously attracted the attention of other banks in especially, Africa, who must, if they are lucky, learnt about the importance of doing it right in this volatile yet important industry in the economic life of any country.