Some officials of the Bank of Ghana, are likely to face prosecution following a similar action by state prosecutors against Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of UT and Beige Banks, President Akufo Addo has indicated.
In 2017, the Bank of Ghana embarked on a massive clean-up exercise in the sector which led to the revocation of the licences of some nine banks including the Beige Bank and UT Bank, ABC News can report.
While the UT bank had its license revoked for accumulating a GH¢850 million liability as against its GH¢112 million assets, the BoG explained that the licence of the Beige Bank was “obtained by false pretenses through the use of suspicious and non-existence capital” necessitating the regulator’s action against them.
Following these accusations, the Akufo-Addo led administration vowed to bring to book all persons complicit in the crisis. On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the pledge was put into action as CEOs of two of the now-defunct companies appeared before court to respond to their alleged roles in the collapse of the two banks.
While Beige Bank’s CEO, Mr. Nyinaku has been remanded in police custody for a week following the dismissal of a bail application by his lawyers after being accused of stealing a sum of over GHC 340 million, UT Bank’s Kofi Amoabeng was granted bail to the tune of GHC110 million with two sureties who earn not less than GHS 2,000 over his alleged involvement in the collapse of UT Bank.
Mr. Amoabeng has said that the Bank of Ghana has an equal share in the collapse of his bank, arguing that the regulator could have used other means to deal with the liquidity challenges without necessarily shutting it down.
“If as UT Bank we owed GH¢800 million and an investor comes and he says I’m ready to pay GH¢400 million [so] Bank of Ghana write off the [other] GH¢400 million, but BoG takes a decision to close down the bank which will cost the nation at least GH¢ 2.2 billion, it doesn’t make sense to me,” he said in an interview last year.
Many other state actors, including some leaders in the former NDC administration, have expressed similar concerns, indicating that the Bank of Ghana must equally share the blame of the mishap in the country’s financial sector.
Speaking at the New Year school at the University of Ghana, President Akufo Addo noted that the regulators and any other person involved in the banking crisis will be made to face the brunt of the law.
“We have begun bringing those responsible for the banking sector crisis to justice. We have one case in court, and if prima facie evidence of criminality is found in the other ongoing investigations, which according to my information is likely, then the participators of the crime [ie] both regulators and individuals will face justice soon,” he noted.