BOSSES OF FAILED BANKS FEEL THE HEAT AS THEY FACE PROSECUTION FROM OCTOBER Featured

Information from the Attorney General’s Department seen by the Daily Statesman suggests that the prosecution of about 50 directors and owners of the seven banks which collapsed in the past three years will begin next month, as soon as the legal vacation is over.

 

According to our source, the AG’s office is ready with its advice on the dockets submitted by the special investigative team that was commissioned to probe various financial crimes involving the owners and directors of uniBank Ghana Ltd, UT Bank, Capital Bank, Royal Bank, Construction Bank, Beige Bank and Heritage Bank.

Meanwhile, the receivers appointed by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) are in hot pursuit of about 31,000 customers of the failed banks in an effort to recover more than GHC10 billion in loans and advances.

The receivers are Nii Amanor Dodoo of KPMG and Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah, both of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Defaulting clients

Information seen by the Daily Statesman shows that the defunct uniBank has the highest number of defaulting customers. The number is about 26,558, and the total sum involved is over GHC4.6bn.

Over 298 customers of the defunct Sovereign Bank, who owe about GHC136 million, are also being pursued.

In respect of the Royal Bank, some 752 customers are being pursued to pay GHC1.142bn, while 3,371 customers of Beige Bank are to refund GHC872m.
For Construction Bank, 14 customers are to pay GHC625,000.

Damning

According to a source close to the special investigative team, with one of the failed banks, “Over GHC3.8bn of funds belonging to depositors did not pass through the loan books.

“This is very damning, and it was captured through a special audit because it was distributed among the directors,” the source added.
“A lot of meticulous investigative work had to be done. All those suspected to have played diverse roles had to respond to individual queries raised by the receivers against them. That is why some people think prosecution has delayed.
“The report is very damning; the dockets have been studied and the appropriate advice accordingly issued. All I can tell you, as we speak today, is that those who played various roles in these clear financial crimes against the nation will face prosecution as soon as the legal break is over next month,” a source at the AG’s Department told the Daily Statesman yesterday.

Fake loans

Speaking recently at the Ghana CEO Summit, Ernest Addison, the Governor the BoG, said he was unhappy with the slow pace of the loan recovery process.

“The process has progressed slowly, as, out of the total loans of GHC10.1bn taken over by the receivers, recoveries so far are in excess of GHC731m, and this has been achieved through loan repayments by customers, repayment of placements, sale of vehicles, liquidation of bonds and other income sources. Loan repayments by customers constitute about 72 per cent of the total proceeds realised,” Dr Addison said.

He attributed the slow pace of recoveries to “low or poor documentation” of the banks, saying this was “making it difficult for the receivers to identify and pursue some of the loan defaulters due to insufficient or non-existent information”.

He also worried that some of the loan defaulters and shareholders of the defunct banks had resorted to frivolous lawsuits to sabotage the process.

“But even more troubling for the receivers was the fact that some of the assets were not registered in the names of the specific financial institutions but in the names of related or connected parties, making it difficult to dispose of the underlying collateral to offset the outstanding loans,” Dr Addison noted.

“Some of these loans were even fictitiously created and the directors are being pursued to recover such money.”

Quick prosecutions

Dr Addison called for the establishment of a special court to prosecute the cases expeditiously.

“In my opinion, designating special courts and judges to adjudicate matters relating to specific issues arising out of the bank resolutions and revocation of licences, given the public interest and the enforcement of collateral agreements, will help speed up the process,” the Governor said.

“Without an efficient judicial system that is prepared to deal with cases in a swift and decisive manner, all the work done in sanitising the banking system will not yield the desired results and expected outcomes.”


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2 comments

  • oprolevorter
    Comment Link oprolevorter Tuesday, 22 October 2019 02:49

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  • oprol evorter
    Comment Link oprol evorter Thursday, 17 October 2019 06:57

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